Caribou Management

The Alberta government is working to stop the decline of woodland caribou populations and recover the species.

Woodland Caribou Management in Alberta

A Woodland Caribou Policy for Alberta

A provincial policy that guides implementation plans for caribou ranges to maintain and restore habitat and carefully manage wildlife that may impact woodland caribou populations.

  • Caribou Protection Plan
    Caribou Protection Plans are required for certain categories of new industrial activities within caribou zones, as identified in the provincially-approved caribou land-use referrral map. Caribou Protection Plans strive to reduce the industrial footprint and impacts on caribou.
  • EAP Standards and Operating Conditions
    For upstream Oil and Gas activities, some conservation actions are built into the standards and operating conditions under the Enhanced Approval Process. Refer to the following documents: Approval Standards for the EAP and Operating Conditions for the EAP, at:
  • Woodland Caribou Recovery Plan
    Alberta’s approved Woodland Caribou Recovery Plan guides caribou management in the province.

Related Information

The Alberta Caribou Action and Range Planning Project will build on existing and previous work and develop action and range plans to meet provincial and federal caribou population and habitat objectives.

For the detailed wildlife status report on Alberta woodland caribou, see the following document, Status of the Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) in Alberta, at:

Frequently Asked Questions about Alberta’s Caribou Policy

Woodland Caribou Population Status

Why are Alberta’s woodland caribou populations in decline?

In recent years, predator-prey relationships have altered, leading to declines in caribou populations.

To sustain and recover woodland caribou, the policy’s main strategies are maintaining and restoring caribou habitat and, where necessary, carefully managing populations of alternate prey species and predators.

Will there be woodland caribou herds that get priority under this policy?

Efforts will be made to avoid loss of populations. However, some populations may receive more attention than others.

Implementation is intended to occur relatively quickly (i.e., with some activities expected to be initiated in the next one-to-two years). Priority will depend on urgency and opportunity.

Woodland Caribou Population Status

What was Alberta’s woodland caribou policy prior to this draft?

Alberta’s Woodland Caribou Recovery Plan, approved in 2005, outlined goals, objectives and recommended actions designed to assist in the recovery of the species.

A Woodland Caribou Policy for Alberta will provide government-wide clarity regarding an integrated partnership approach, including commitment of financial and other resources, to achieve naturally sustaining woodland caribou populations.

Did the department undertake consultations on this policy?

We relied on the input of the Alberta Caribou Committee – a broad range of stakeholders with an interest in caribou – to help shape the policy.

Additionally, we provided a draft policy to 51 First Nations and conducted meetings with 15 who agreed to participate. The feedback we received from these contacts assisted us in revising the draft. We anticipate that detailed implementation planning will require continued discussions with First Nations.

Caribou Policy Implementation

The policy calls for range-level planning, and implementation through partnerships, with an expectation of public/private sector financial support. How will this happen?

We envision establishing range-level directions and priorities. Then we can invite partners to contribute to the implementation of the necessary measures. We don't anticipate a province-wide structure to oversee the entire policy. We think it would be better to seek out those priority areas where we can find partners willing and eager to take coordinated steps toward doing the 'right thing'.

One model would be to create an implementation structure based on "joint ventures."

How will implementation of the policy occur?

A process is currently being developed. It is anticipated that a variety of approaches will be used, depending on circumstances associated with individual caribou ranges and populations.

What’s going to be our measure for effectiveness of implementation of the policy?

Measures of effectiveness will focus on footprint reduction/minimization and caribou population trends. We need to ensure that resources committed to caribou recovery are working.

 

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Posted: Jan 14, 2014