KAWARTHA LAKES-Caribou (boreal population) is a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) in Ontario. It is estimated there are roughly 5,000 boreal caribou in Ontario.
The Ontario government says it is investing up to $20 million in a new Caribou Conservation Stewardship Program to support projects that maintain and recover caribou populations in the province. The funding will be available to non-profit organizations, Indigenous communities and other groups for conservation activities such as on-the-ground habitat restoration and protection, monitoring, science and research.
“Caribou are integral to our province, and it is critical that we invest in activities that improve conditions for this iconic species,” said David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “Through the launch of this new program – the largest single investment dedicated to caribou in Ontario’s history – we are taking meaningful action on caribou conservation and recovery.”
This program is part of a five-year conservation agreement with the Government of Canada which provides an overall framework for establishing collaborative commitments, including habitat management, protection and restoration activities from both the federal and provincial governments to protect and recover caribou.
Funded projects will deliver tangible results that contribute to the maintenance and recovery of caribou populations in Ontario.
Examples of activities eligible for caribou stewardship funding include:
- Habitat management/restoration
- Conducting monitoring
- Reducing threats to caribou
- Gathering, sharing, or incorporating local and Indigenous traditional knowledge
The application period for the Caribou Conservation Stewardship Program will run from August 17, 2023, to September 28, 2023, with successful projects selected in spring 2024.
“Ontario is working with all partners to implement the conservation agreement in a way that balances protecting and recovering the species with the social and economic realities of people and industries in the North.” said a press release.