Caribou migrating across the tundra in summer around Hudson Bay. Barren ground herds that once numbered in the hundreds of thousands have declined dramatically, in many cases by over 90 percent

Caribou migrating across the tundra in summer around Hudson Bay. Barren ground herds that once numbered in the hundreds of thousands have declined dramatically, in many cases by over 90 percent
Photo Credit: MarCom -WWF Canada

Iconic Canadian symbol-Caribou, and lovely Monarch butterfly, in danger

Share

A science committee has raised the alarm over the future of the populations of two migratory species which are in steep decline.

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) held its semi-annual meetings on species at risk between November 27 and December 2. They listed these two major species as being at increased risk

A number of caribou populations migrate across substantial distances in Canada each year from summer calving ground to wintering grounds and a variety of studies have shown virtually all herds have suffered steep declines.

In a press release Justina Ray, co-chair of the Terrestrial Mammals Subcommittee said , “Caribou are, sadly, very sensitive to human disturbances, and we are disturbing Caribou more and more.  These stressors seem to be interacting in complicated ways with rapid warming in the North.  Many of the great northern Caribou herds have now fallen to all-time lows, and there is cause for concern that they will not rebound in the same way they have before.”

Two specific herds were examined, The Caribou Barren-ground population was assessed as Threatened, while the much rarer Torngat Mountain population in far northeastern Canada was assessed at even higher risk – Endangered. This means that population is at imminent risk of disappearing altogether.

The Baffin Island caribou herd is estimated to have declined by 98 percent according to WWF-Canada and is in danger of disappearing altogether
The Baffin Island caribou herd is estimated to have declined by 98 percent according to WWF-Canada and is in danger of disappearing altogether © via CBC

Caribou herd decline- over 90 percent

In October, the World Wildlife fund said only about half of barren-ground caribou remain, and there has been a decline of over 90 percent of the Bathurst herd, and Baffin Island herds.   It is thought that climate change and disruptive human development activities (mining, oil and gas exploration, urban expansion) are part of the reason for the steep decline.

Another iconic species, the colourful Monarch butterfly. Every fall the colourful insects begin their migration from Canada and the northern US, southward toward Mexico some 4,000 km away.  They spend the winter at a tiny specific area in Mexico and return northward in the spring. The vast round trip journey can take several generations.

Monarch butterflies have now been listed as a *endangered* species by Canada’s science committee on endangered wildlife
Monarch butterflies have now been listed as a *endangered* species by Canada’s science committee on endangered wildlife © Mike Evans- CBC

The monarch species requires the milkweed plant to survive, but that has been threatened by changing farming practices especially in the US. The small Mexican habitat continues to be threatened by illegal logging.

A kaleidoscope of Monarch butterflies hang from a tree branch, in the Piedra Herrada sanctuary, near Valle de Bravo, Mexico in January 2015.
A kaleidoscope of Monarch butterflies hang from a tree branch, in the Piedra Herrada sanctuary, near Valle de Bravo, Mexico in January 2015. © Rebecca Blackwell/Associated Press

Jennifer Heron, co-chair of the Arthropods Subcommittee of COSEWIC, summed it up: “We need to continue to support the conservation of milkweed caterpillar habitat both here in Canada and along the Monarch’s migratory journey, and we need to support continued conservation of critical overwintering areas. Otherwise, Monarch migration may disappear, and Canada may lose this iconic species.”

Additional information-sources

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Environment, International, Internet, Science and Technology, Politics

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*