The oil sands and caribou

by BuryCoal on June 22, 2011

in Oil sands, Wildlife

According to a recent paper by Peter Lee of Global Forest Watch, continued development of the oil sands threatens 11 different caribou herds: “The prospect of 10 of these 11 caribou herds supporting self-sustaining local populations in (the region) in the near future appear to be very, very low. With the accelerating pace of oil, gas and bitumen activities in the region … the prospect of all of these caribou herds supporting self-sustaining populations in the near future appear to be declining rapidly”.

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. June 22, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Pressure grows for review of oilsands

Environmentalists want independent panel of experts
Keith Gerein, Postmedia News

A collection of environmental groups from the United States and Europe is calling on the Alberta government to form an independent panel of experts to assess concerns with a new provincial land-use plan for the oilsands region.
The 16 groups, including the National Wildlife Federation and the Rainforest Action Network, purchased a half-page ad in Friday’s Edmonton Journal in which they published a letter spelling out misgivings with the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan (LARP).
The letter said an independent panel is needed to “conduct an assessment of the LARP and recommend improvements to ensure the air quality, water quality and quantity, biodiversity and ecosystem health are not compromised.”
The groups said the plan fails to: halt water withdrawals during times of low flow on the Athabasca River, set limits on water pollution, secure caribou habitat, and protect aboriginal land use and treaty rights.
They ask the province to halt further oilsands development until the proposed panel completes its work.

. July 3, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Humans, not wolves, are behind declining caribou populations in Alberta’s oilsands region, an analysis of animal feces shows.

The same research also found there may be many more caribou in the region than previously thought, meaning there may still be time for industry to change how it does business without resorting to wolf culls to protect the herds.

“Nobody is denying that the trend in caribou decline is alarming,” said University of Washington biologist Samuel Wasser, lead author of a paper published Wednesday in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

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