One Caribou Herd Gone: How Many More Will Follow?
Last year, the South Selkirk mountain caribou herd – which roams the area near Nelson and just across the border into Idaho – had 11 members. The herd, like many other southern mountain caribou herds, has been in decline for decades and is listed as threatened under the federal Species at Risk Act.
Earlier this month, government biologists confirmed our worst fears: there are just 3 caribou left in the South Selkirk herd. All 3 caribou are female, and with these untenable numbers, the herd has been declared functionally extinct.
How could this happen? It happened because our governments refused to act.
For years, governments have been warned that a crucial part of protecting caribou herds is protecting critical habitat. And for years, the BC and federal governments have neglected to meet conservation targets. Instead, government has allowed new industrial developments in southern mountain and boreal caribou ranges, fragmenting their habitat even further.
It’s too late for the South Selkirk caribou herd. But there’s still time to save other caribou herds in BC.
Right now, you can tell the federal and provincial governments that they need to get serious about protecting critical caribou habitat. If enough people demand action for caribou, government will be forced to listen.
Send a letter to federal Minister McKenna and provincial Ministers Donaldson and Heyman to demand immediate action for endangered caribou in BC. Together, we can make sure this is the last caribou extinction we see here.