EDMONTON – Alberta’s plans to restore a dwindling caribou herd by penning off a large section of forest for pregnant cows is coming under attack in scientific literature.
A review of the plan in the journal Animals says fencing forest to protect caribou females from predators will result in naive calves that won’t survive outside the area.
It also says ecosystems within the fenced area will be completely disrupted.
Author Gilbert Proulx says the government should focus on expanding the intact habitat that the Little Smoky herd still uses.
University of Alberta biologist Stan Boutin says the herd is too far gone for that and drastic measures are needed.
The pens have been criticized by both environmental groups and other biologists.
The Little Smoky herd, nearly wiped out by decades of industrial activity on its range, is a focus of Alberta’s caribou recovery plan, which is required by the federal government.
© 2017 The Canadian Press