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Feb 12, 2007
The mountain caribou needs more habitat than British Columbia's government is currently prepared to provide. And, without proper protection, one of the most endangered mammals in North America could disappear.

Industrial logging and out-of-control motorized recreation are not only destroying caribou habitat, but also diminishing opportunities for nature lovers and recreation enthusiasts.

Yet, the British Columbia government has prepared a mountain caribou recovery plan that proposes less habitat protection than the government's mountain caribou science team believes would be necessary to fully recover the herds.

Canadian pressure is critical for the recovery of this endangered species. Please tell the BC government that habitat protection is the cornerstone of an effective mountain caribou recovery plan. The comment period ends February 28, 2007. Send your comment TODAY!
Protect Mountain Caribou Habitat
I am concerned about the urgent situation for endangered mountain caribou. For two years your mountain caribou science panel met to develop options for mountain caribou recovery. These scientists all agreed that protecting habitat is critical to the long-term survival of the species. I write to urge you to protect ALL mountain caribou habitat. I believe that BC has a responsibility to the world to conserve this wildlife heritage.

You have promised to "lead the world in sustainable environmental management." In the two years that have passed since you created the Species At Risk Coordination Office, mountain caribou have continued to decline at a rate of 4.5% a year, according to your scientists. Meanwhile logging and motorized recreation have continued in mountain caribou habitat. The eyes of the world are on BC as host of the 2010 Olympic games. Since mountain caribou are found nowhere else in the world, I feel you have a global responsibility to protect them.

BC has the opportunity to demonstrate its environmental leadership by protecting mountain caribou and the globally unique ecosystem -- the Inland Temperate Rainforest — that these animals rely on. Please assure me that you will take immediate action to protect all the mountain caribou habitat identified by the Mountain Caribou Science Team.
 

My comment on the petition:

  Mountain Caribou cannot breed and raise their young in areas disturbed by noisy, polluting snowmobiles. When a population of animals gets TOO SMALL, those left inbreed and become genetically weak and DISAPPEAR. Which would you prefer: a world with NO MORE MOUNTAIN CARIBOU in it; or a world with NO MORE SNOWMOBILES??? I opt for a world that eliminates snowmobiles, before I want to live in a world with no more Mountain Caribou, and other species endangered by careless recreational snowmobiling.  BMT  


One of BC's most threatened species - can it survive more habitat loss?

Less than 2,000 mountain caribou exist in the world, 98% of which live in British Columbia. Found in both the upper Goat River and the Bugaboo Rainforest, mountain caribou are heavily reliant upon this moist old-growth ecosystem for raising their young, protecting themselves from predators and foraging for food.

Mountain Caribou

A Bugaboo Rainforest National Park would protect critical Mountain Caribou habitat. Photo credit: Michael Wheatley

In particular, mountain caribou depend on arboreal lichens as a critical winter food source. Because lichens grow very slowly, only very old forests provide the abundant lichens needed to nourish caribou over harsh winter months.

According to a 1999 BC Wildlife Branch report, “Because caribou are so well-suited to the ecological conditions in the inland rainforest…they can be considered a flagship species of this area. No other large animal has a distribution so closely tied to this region.”

The ongoing destruction of this rare ecosystem through logging, hydro and other development has seen the mountain caribou range shrink by 60%. Sadly, the younger forests which emerge after logging upset the natural balance by bringing deer and moose into the area, which in turn brings in predators such as wolves and cougars.

Government 2002 census results show serious declines in BC’s 13 mountain caribou herds. Of great concern is the fact that several mountain caribou herds are now at critically low levels. The population of some herds has declined by more than 50% between 1994 and 2001. These herds are in imminent danger of disappearing from the landscape altogether.

As an indicator species the mountain caribou is a canary in the coalmine and it is telling us that the ecosystem in which it lives is being destroyed and fragmented to such an extent that it can no longer support a species that has depended on it for thousands of years.


 
 

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Posted: Feb 12, 2007 2:16pm

 

 
 
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BMutiny TCorporationsEvil
, 1, 1 child
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Feb
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