Immediate intervention needed to protect dwindling caribou herds in Alberta, B.C.: Feds

The government is worried about the caribou populations, particularly in Alberta and B.C. Bill Quayle / The Canadian Press

The federal government says it is one step away from issuing emergency protection orders for dwindling caribou herds in Alberta and British Columbia.

READ MORE: Caribou protection money secured by Alberta delegation in Ottawa 

The finding from Environment Canada covers 10 herds in the Southern Mountain population which are under imminent threat.

They are all smaller than 100 animals and continue to decline.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says in a statement that immediate intervention is needed if the herds are to recover.

READ MORE: Conservation officers step up enforcement of Revelstoke caribou closures  

She says measures being used by the provinces don’t include enough habitat protection or restoration.

An emergency protection order would allow Ottawa to control activity on critical habitat for a threatened species that is normally governed by the provinces.

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READ MORE: Alberta’s stance on caribou a ‘national test case’ of Species at Risk Act 

That would include energy development, forestry and agriculture.

Protection orders have been issued previously for sage grouse and the western chorus frog.

Watch below: Conservation Officers take to the air to enforce Revelstoke caribou closures

Click to play video: 'Conservation Officers take to the air to enforce Revelstoke caribou closures'
Conservation Officers take to the air to enforce Revelstoke caribou closures

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