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Recovery Strategy for the Woodland Caribou, Southern Mountain population (Rangifer tarandus caribou) in Canada - 2014 [Final]

Appendix A: Effects on the Environment and Other Species

A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is conducted on all SARA recovery planning documents, in accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals. The purpose of a SEA is to incorporate environmental considerations into the development of public policies, plans, and program proposals to support environmentally sound decision-making.

Recovery planning is intended to benefit species at risk and biodiversity in general. However, it is recognized that certain strategies may also inadvertently lead to environmental effects beyond the intended benefits, or have negative impacts upon other species. The planning process based on national guidelines directly incorporates consideration of all environmental effects, with a particular focus on possible impacts upon non-target species or habitats. The results of the SEA are incorporated directly into the strategy itself, but are also summarized below in this statement.

Southern mountain caribou are an umbrella species for the older-growth forest at large. There are many species that share the same habitat requirements as southern mountain caribou and will benefit from the recovery actions outlined in this recovery strategy. This recovery strategy will benefit the environment and biodiversity as a whole by promoting the recovery of southern mountain caribou and by protecting and enhancing habitat.

The management measures outlined in this recovery strategy are those required to halt southern mountain caribou population declines in LPUs and to assist in stabilizing and recovering local populations units. With respect to broader environmental impacts, certain management tools, most notably predator (e.g., wolves, bears) and alternate prey (e.g., moose, deer) management, may be required in areas with unnaturally high rates of predation on southern mountain caribou.

This recovery strategy acknowledges that predator and alternate prey management are required in some LPUs to help stop southern mountain caribou declines and stabilize LPUs that are at risk of extirpation. Where applied, predator and alternate prey management should be used as an interim management tool, in conjunction with other management tools (e.g., habitat restoration and management) to prevent extirpation and achieve population growth. Effective indirect predator management techniques (such as actions to limit the access of predators to southern mountain caribou) should be considered prior to undertaking direct predator and alternate prey management. When a predator or alternate prey management program is being planned, the conservation status of all affected species must be considered. Where implemented, the effects of mortality management activities on southern mountain caribou LPUs should be monitored.

This recovery strategy will contribute to the achievement of the goals and targets of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy for Canada. In particular, the strategy directly contributes to the Government of Canada’s commitment to restore populations of wildlife to healthy levels, protect natural spaces and wildlife, and protect the natural heritage of our country.

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