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Canada-Ontario boreal caribou conservation agreement commits to habitat restoration


April 25, 2022
By CFI staff

The federal and Ontario governments have come to an agreement on boreal caribou conservation and recovery that commits to habitat restoration activities, conservation measures, population management and monitoring, among other things.

Boreal caribou is listed as a threatened species under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) and the Ontario Endangered Species Act. The governments of Canada and Ontario entered into a conservation agreement under section 11 of SARA, and each committed $5 million for conservation measures.

In a news release from Environment and Climate Change Canada, federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said the agreement is the first step towards ensuring the sustainability of caribou herds in Ontario, but that, “… more conservation work and added funding will be needed in the future to guarantee their successful recovery. I look forward to continuing our collaboration with Ontario to collectively conserve and protect this species we hold dear for today and for future generations.”

The agreement includes the following commitments:

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  • Planning and implementing habitat restoration activities.
  • Increasing protection of boreal caribou habitat through protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.
  • Using evidence-based approaches to manage for self-sustaining local populations.
  • Monitoring and reporting on current and projected future population and habitat conditions.
  • Collaboration and implementation of conservation measures that are informed by independent experts, Indigenous communities and organizations, and stakeholders.

“Through our shared goal of protecting this iconic and integral species and its habitat, our agreement achieves an important balance with the social and economic realities of Ontarians, industries in the north, and the broader species and ecosystems affected. I look forward to continuing to work in partnership with federal colleagues, Indigenous communities, industry, and conservation organizations to protect caribou now and for future generations,” Ontario Environment Minister David Piccini said in the release.