-Ontario invests to protect woodland caribou

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Ontario has produced a comprehensive report that tracks and monitors woodland caribou in the province.

The Woodland Caribou Resource report shows how the animal is using its landscape and what factors are affecting its population.

The report is part of Ontario’s Caribou Conservation Plan, a strategy it launched to protect the animal and increase its numbers. The province is investing $11 million on the plan and 50 associated research projects. 

This is in contrast to Quebec, where some say the province has not committed enough resources to increase and protect Woodland Caribou.

Geoffrey Quaile, senior environment advisor for the Grand Council of the Crees, says Quebec lacks a strategy to protect Woodland Caribou. He notes that Quebec held a provincial committee that has come up with recommendations. But he says those recommendations have not been implemented.

Moreover, the committee has been suspended until April due to budget cuts. “Basically the government does not have a full-time biologist working on the woodland caribou plan,” said Quaile.

Quaile says that the biggest threat to woodland caribou is forestry, and that the budget constraints are making it impossible for the Grand Council to devise a plan with the province because there is no one to sit down with on the other side of the table.

Quaile says that the Grand Council is working on its own plan.

“We looked at what Quebec has done and came up with ideas to improve it. We decided that if we are not having active meetings, we’ll do our own work and release it independently.”

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