Boreal caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) in British Columbia (BC) are in decline. BC has a commitment under the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk and the National Framework for the Conservation of Species at Risk to protect and recovery boreal caribou. The recovery of boreal caribou is mandated under the federal Species at Risk Act. Boreal caribou range overlaps extensively with petroleum and natural gas (PNG) exploration and development activities in northeastern BC. As a result, protecting and recovering boreal caribou has the potential to significantly
affect revenues generated by this industry. The Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources have collaborated on an analysis of future management options and consequences for boreal caribou in BC. The following are the major conclusions of the analysis:
1) Projections of boreal caribou range populations and of management costs are highly uncertain;
2) Even with a full moratorium on further PNG exploration and development, BC's boreal caribou population is likely to decline;
3) Continuing development without significant changes in footprint management or deferring areas from PNG tenure sales will likely result in the extirpation of boreal caribou from all but one boreal caribou range; and,
4) Aggressively restoring habitat significantly improves population projections but the feasibility and predicted outcomes of restoration activities are highly uncertain.
Wilson, Steve F., Pasztor, Chris; Dickinson, Sarah. 2010. Projected Boreal Caribou Habitat Conditions and Range Populations for Future Management Options in British Columbia. Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources