Recovery Strategy for the Woodland Caribou, Southern Mountain population (Rangifer tarandus caribou) in Canada - 2014 [Final]
- Executive Summary
- Recovery Feasibility Summary
- 1. COSEWIC Species Assessment Information
- 2. Species Status Information
- 3. Species Information
- 4. Threats
- 5. Population and Distribution Objectives
- 6. Broad Strategies and General Approaches to Meet Objectives
- 7. Critical Habitat
- 8. Measuring Progress
- 9. Statement On Action Plans
- 10. Glossary
- Appendix A: Effects on the Environment and Other Species
- Appendix B: Maps of Critical Habitat for Southern Mountain Caribou Local Population Units (LPUs)
- Appendix C: Biophysical Attributes for Southern Mountain Caribou Critical Habitat
8. Measuring Progress
Under SARA, the competent minister must report on the implementation of a recovery strategy and the progress towards meeting its objectives every five years. Population and habitat conditions for southern mountain caribou will change over time given the changes to population demographics, ecosystem dynamics, and the manner in which the species shifts its use of the landscape over time. Most southern mountain caribou LPUs have undergone significant declines over the last 20 years, and are at risk of further declines. Some are at high risk of extirpation within the next five years. In addition, one of the population and distribution objectives is to immediately stop the decline in both numbers and current distribution of all LPUs. Due to the immediate need of actions required to halt the decline, monitoring of implementation and effectiveness should be conducted on an annual basis and reported on every five years.
Monitoring of southern mountain caribou LPUs based on performance indicators will be essential in order to have the information necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of management actions and to make necessary adjustments through an adaptive management process over time.
8.1 Adaptive Management
The process of adaptive management planning and implementation acknowledges and supports the adjustment of management actions in light of new or more refined knowledge. Adaptive management identifies knowledge gaps, uncertainties, successes and failures, which are then evaluated to prio ritize future information needs to improve outcomes and inform ongoing learning. As learning continues, implementation activities continue using revised and improved management actions.
The challenge of achieving the recovery goal of self-sustaining LPUs of southern mountain caribou will vary by southern mountain caribou LPU given the habitat and population conditions and management context associated within each LPU. To ensure adaptive management is applied to southern mountain caribou recovery, cooperation with federal and provincial governments, Aboriginal people, and others involved in the conservation, survival and recovery of southern mountain caribou will be required.
8.2 Performance Indicators
The performance indicators presented below provide a way to define and measure progress toward achieving the population and distribution objectives.
The ultimate performance indicator of southern mountain caribou recovery is self-sustaining LPUs throughout the entirety of their distribution in Canada. Performance indicators for this recovery strategy are that the population and distribution objectives are met for each LPU, and that southern mountain caribou become less at risk. Recovery of all southern mountain caribou LPUs is deemed technically and biologically feasible; however given the challenges of recovery for southern mountain caribou, some LPUs that are currently not self-sustaining will likely require a number of decades to return to a recovered state.
The performance indicators described below are provided as guidelines to gauge the successful implementation of the recovery strategy. More detailed performance indicators that reflect the specific local conditions (e.g., population condition, habitat condition, alternate prey/predator dynamics, mortality rates) of each southern mountain caribou LPU will need to be developed at the action plan stage.
- Complete one or more action plans by December 31, 2017 (see Section 9).
Population Condition (population trend and size):
- Maintain current distribution within all southern mountain caribou LPUs.
- Achieve and/or maintain a stable to increasing population trend within one generation (eight years) for all LPUs, as evaluated using population estimates or other empirical data that indicate population trend is stable or increasing.
- Achieve a minimum of 100 animals for southern mountain caribou LPUs with population estimates of fewer than 100 animals, or show progress towards this goal every five years.
Habitat Condition (amount and type of undisturbed habitat):
- For low elevation winter ranges and Type 1 matrix range in the Northern and Central groups with 65% or more undisturbed habitat, maintain at least 65% of the low elevation winter range and Type 1 matrix range as undisturbed habitat that includes the biophysical attributes needed for southern mountain caribou to carry out life processes.
- For low elevation winter ranges and Type 1 matrix range in the Northern and Central groups with less than 65% undisturbed habitat, within three years identify in an action plan specific areas of existing undisturbed habitat, as well as those areas where future habitat is to be restored to an undisturbed condition.
- For high elevation winter and/or summer ranges for all groups, low elevation summer range for the Northern and Central groups, and low elevation spring and/or early winter range for the Southern Group, maintain the level of undisturbed habitat that includes the biophysical attributes needed for southern mountain caribou to carry out life processes.
- For high elevation winter and/or summer ranges for all groups, low elevation summer range for the Northern and Central groups, and low elevation spring and/or early winter range for the Southern Group, identify in an action plan specific areas where future habitat is to be restored to undisturbed suitable condition.
- For Type 2 matrix range in all Groups, and Type 1 matrix range in the Southern Group with wolf population densities <3 wolves/1000 km², maintain the biophysical attributes and/or management actions needed to maintain wolf densities below this level.
- For Type 2 matrix range in all Groups, and Type 1 matrix range in the Southern Group with wolf population densities >3 wolves/1000 km², identify in an action plan management actions (including habitat restoration) required to achieve this density.
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