Habitat management is a key measure to support the conservation and recovery of woodland caribou.

To effectively manage habitat, it is imperative to assess the status of critical habitat over time; for instance, reporting on critical habitat protection is required under section 63 of the federal Species At Risk Act (SARA) and a key component of tracking progress of recovery strategy implementation (section 46 of SARA). Recent work has set the stage by quantifying caribou habitat loss and gain over time across Western Canada’s caribou ranges, with an eye on how patterns may have changed in response to policies and legislation. However, transparent and annually updated metrics of habitat loss, gain, and change are essential to evaluate progress and to achieve disturbance targets identified in federal recovery strategies.

Program objectives

This program will quantify and track gross, net, and annual changes in several aspects that define or contribute to an understanding of woodland caribou critical habitat, including gross habitat loss and net habitat change. Within disturbed caribou habitat, the current status of vegetation and vegetation recovery over time will also be tracked and reported on. The program will use the best available data on habitat attributes and vegetation status. The culmination of this program will support transparent and effective inventorying, tracking,, and management of caribou ranges across western Canada. Stay tuned for program updates.