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Ottawa moves forward on threat to use federal powers to help Quebec caribou

Click to play video: 'Caribou chase posted to social media distresses conservation groups'
Caribou chase posted to social media distresses conservation groups
Related: A video posted to social media has shocked an animal conversation group, saying it shows a lack of respect for an animal with a dwindling population. – Aug 3, 2022

Federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says he’s moving forward on his threat to invoke federal powers to protect Quebec’s declining woodland caribou herds.

Guilbeault said today that he’s starting the process to obtain a federal decree to protect the herds in Val-d’Or, Charlevoix and Pipmuacan, after what he describes as Quebec’s failure to develop a plan to save them.

The federal minister says his government will hold consultations to determine the size of the potential protected habitat as well as the scope of the decree.

Click to play video: 'Environmentalists claim federal government misleads public on logging'
Environmentalists claim federal government misleads public on logging

He told The Canadian Press that industrial activity such as logging will be limited in the protected zones and that Ottawa hasn’t ruled out stepping in to protect two other herds in eastern Quebec.

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Quebec’s woodland caribou population has declined as a result of habitat destruction, industrial activity and increased predation, with a provincial commission estimating in 2022 that there were about 5,200 of the animals left in the province.

Guilbeault says Quebec can still act in the coming weeks and months by releasing its own caribou protection plan, which has been promised and delayed for years.

Click to play video: 'Splatsin concerned after study finds accelerating woodland caribou habitat loss'
Splatsin concerned after study finds accelerating woodland caribou habitat loss

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