Government Questions Value Of Caribou Report

Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 13:35



A spokesman with Saskatchewan Environment says new data on the risk to caribou habitat is “preliminary”, so he can’t make a definitive statement on whether caribou herds in Saskatchewan are at risk.


Doug Campbell is the manager of biodiversity conservation in the ministry’s Fish and Wildlife Branch.


Campbell is responding to a national report released last week called the Scientific Review for the Identification of Critical Habitat for Woodland Caribou, which concluded that caribou populations in Canada’s boreal forests are in worse shape than previously thought because of human-caused disturbances.


Campbell says scientists don’t have “comprehensive, thorough information” on the nature of the habitat of the caribou in the province, nor the dynamics and population of each individual herd.


The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) says four of the province’s eight caribou ranges are no longer of sufficient quality to support self-sustaining caribou populations, and three more are in “borderline” condition.


CPAWS is calling for a “pause” to logging, road-building, and other developments that can affect caribou habitat.


Campbell says that won’t be happening, since the information is preliminary and more needs to be gathered.