Group wants more protection for Woodland Caribou

June 30, 2009

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society today launched a series of tongue-in-cheek videos focusing on the problems face by Woodland Caribou in Manitoba and across Canada.

CPAWS Manitoba wants viewers to write to Manitoba Premier Gary Doer to lobby his government to do more to protect caribou habitat from logging and other development.

To watch the video and learn more about CPAWS campaign go to It features a caribou learning martial arts to survive.

CPAWS says forest-dwelling caribou are in danger across Canada because of human encroachment and climate change.

A sweeping report released in April examining the health of Canada’s woodland caribou gave Manitoba’s efforts to protect caribou a passing grade, but raised the spectre that increased development in the province’s wild spaces could threaten the country’s national symbol.

The Environment Canada report, the Scientific Review for the Identification of Critical Habitat for Woodland Caribou, looked at boreal forest herds that range from Labrador to British Columbia north to the Northwest Territories.

Researchers in Manitoba found that the caribou population is relatively stable, but said that two herds may not be sustainable given the low number of animals and the threat of further development. Woodland caribou range across the boreal forest region of central Manitoba from approximately the Black Lake area in the southeast to the Lynn Lake area in the northwest.

CPAWS says an area equivalent to the size of the United Kingdom—250,000 square-kilometres—must be protected in Manitoba to make sure caribou thrive. (Manitoba is roughly twice the size of the U.K.)

Manitoba Conservation Minister Stan Struthers has said the province is working with commercial loggers on the east side of the province to protect one vulnerable herd, and recently hired two more wildlife biologists. Manitoba’s boreal woodland caribou were listed as threatened under The Endangered Species Act in June 2006.

CPAWS is a national community-based voice for public wilderness protection. To learn more about the caribou go to

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