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Oil Sands Kicking Caribou Out Of Their Forest Habitat

Oil Sands Kicking Caribou Out Of Their Forest Habitat

The Boreal forest is very important in the world’s ecosystem. The forest stretches over 3,000 miles and is home to trees and wetlands that moderate our climate and purify the world’s air. According to the Canadian Boreal Initiative, it is one of the world’s largest intact forest ecosystems. It is the home of thousands of species of animal and insects, but one may be losing its habitat — the caribou.

The caribou or reindeer has already seen subspecies go extinct.

A memo was sent to Canada’s environment minister Peter Kent telling him that there is an elevated risk of the caribou disappearing after losing its home in the regions of the Boreal that surrounds oil sands developments in Alberta. Developers were meant to restore the habitat but the memo, signed by a deputy minister in the department, indicates that it could take decades to restore the area. By the time it happens, seven different types of caribou may have disappeared completely.

The Postmedia report indicates that the memo was sent to Kent as part of preparations for a lawsuit begun by environmental groups who claimed that the government was not enforcing the Species at Risk Act. Since the suit began in 2011, the government introduced Bill C-38 which further cut protection programs.

The memo, which was found through Access to Information, indicates that Kent opted to ignore indications that the Alberta caribou were at risk since there was no national-scale danger of extinction.

The big question is, if the caribou is losing its home in Alberta’s Boreal, then what will be next? The federal government is said to be reviewing the Species at Risk Act in an effort to strengthen it, but their environmental record does not leave a lot of room for optimism.

Related Stories:

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Why Protecting Canada’s Boreal is a Global Priority

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Photo Credit: Bruce McKay

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4:17PM PDT on Sep 2, 2012

Noted and signed.

7:55PM PDT on Aug 11, 2012

Harper is not only leading the assault on Canada's environment, he's also proven to be a threat to the entire world. He's a coward who always goes into hiding after perpetrating major crimes against the earth and against humanity. Harper is a psychopath who must be taken down hard, he deserves no less than life imprisonment for his crimes.

9:08AM PDT on Aug 11, 2012

Canada is pretty skilled at destroying and killing, no? Greedy bastards.

6:00PM PDT on Aug 8, 2012

If there was a god, it would be the other way around!

8:18AM PDT on Jul 17, 2012

Just another reason to ban this insane pipeline!

11:40PM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

The extremes oil and mining companies will go to with their insatiable greed for money and power knows no bounds. Kill anything and everything that is in their way. It is disgusting, outrageous, embarrassing and unacceptable but they and the government don't care! The poor creatures where there first, it is their home, their land and enough should be left for them to live in peace. I get the impression that the government and oil/mining/logging companies would like it if we all moved away so they could rape and pillage the whole country in the name of profit.

8:22PM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

Fight all the overgrowth & over-push for oil, slandering nature. Create less demand : Population Connection, the former 0-Population Growth. "Now more than ever, two parents - two children - MAX !!"

178,000 memberts & growing !

12:55PM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

The Caribou were there first, before any human with greed for oil ever came about. SHAME on the Keystone/Oil grubbing folks, SHAME!

11:24AM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

Petition SO signed.

This is break and entering, isn't it????!!!!!!

8:47AM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

First the caribou then which species will be next on our hit list? Humans continue to be hell bent on destroying every other species on this planet and it sickens and disgusts me to no end.

Animals are losing their habitats at a record pace and there is no where left for them to live and raise their families {hmmmm, just like humans are trying to do.................}. And then when they venture into "our" spaces {hmmmmm which I believe started out to be their spaces} then humans will just want to kill...kill...kill them.

Humans are, by far, the worst species on this planet, bar none and I am deeply ashamed.

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