TOLKHL-01-07

Boreal Caribou Research Program
Sponsor: 
Tolko Industries Ltd.
Lead Researcher: 
Bruce Avery, Tolko Industries Ltd., High Level, Alberta
Body: 
Under the Alberta Wildlife Act, woodland caribou are designated as threatened due to reduced distribution, declines in regional populations and the threat of further declines associated with human activities. Established in the early 1990’s, the Boreal Caribou Committee and Boreal Caribou Research Program seeks to develop a framework in which stakeholders are able to make knowledge-based management decisions regarding industrial activity on caribou range in northern Alberta.

The Boreal Caribou Research Program consists of four components: long-term population dynamics, habitat selection and range mapping, linear corridors, predation and hunting, and cumulative effects.

Population and distribution of woodland caribou in Alberta has been reduced, however the extent of the reduction and the number of actual caribou remaining is largely unknown. There are extensive research projects and management programs ongoing in Alberta, with the majority of research having taken place within the last 10 years. However, current land use guidelines for industry have proven to be ineffective in terms of providing for long-term caribou conservation. The research and management undertaken by various regional committees has increased our knowledge of caribou ecology, however advancing this knowledge to better understand the effect of human activities on caribou is of greatest importance.