Canada’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change is being sued by an Ottawa-based charity over concerns around the boreal woodland caribou.
The woodland caribou was recently placed under the federal as a Species at Risk Act (SARA).
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPWA) is asking the Minister for proof of the steps being taken to protect the boreal woodland caribou’s habitat which extends across 9 provinces and territories.
Once the species is identified under SARA, the Minister had 180 days to identify any unprotected habitats in Canada.
“Boreal woodland caribou’s critical habitat was identified and publicly posted [as at risk] in October of 2012,” said executive director of CPAWS Quebec in a press release.
“Much of the habitat is on non-federal lands. Though we know that much of the boreal caribou critical habitat remains unprotected more than 4 years later, there have been no reports describing what is being done to address any protection gaps.”
According to the press release, boreal caribou’s critical habitat spans across nine provinces and territories, from Labrador to the Yukon.
The populations have declined in most of their range across Canada.
CPAWS says that they have been tracking the steps taken by different jurisdictions, but say they are ‘unimpressed’ with how fast things are moving.
In the NWT, the population of boreal caribou is estimated to be between 6000 and 7000 animals.