The new provincial park protects habitat vitally important for endangered caribou. Photo Credit: David Moskowitz / Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative

AnimalsEnvironment Canada8. July 2024

This Endangered Animal Gets an Upgrade to Its Fragile Home

Joint efforts from First Nations and governments led to the expansion of a provincial park in British Columbia, Canada, to permanently protect the endangered caribou habitat and population.

“We’re showing that when we work together collaboratively — not just say we’re going to work together, but we actually sit down and start applying the principles of working together — we can do some amazing things,” states Chief Roland Willson of West Moberly First Nations. 

According to a 2022 study, the caribou population went from 250 in the 1990s to just 38 in 2013, which led to the mobilization of West Moberly First Nations and Saulteau First Nations to create a maternity pen project. Since 2014, pregnant caribou and their calves have been kept safe from natural predators in pens until the calves have better chances of surviving in the wild. When created in 2020, the Klinse-Za / Twin Sisters Park spanned 2,700 hectares, and today, it covers 30,000 hectares, making it the province’s largest. Apart from the caribou habitat, the park protects the Twin Sisters, two mountains of cultural importance to Treaty 8 First Nations. The park’s expansion aligns with B.C.’s pledge to protect 30% of its land by 2030, keeping with global commitments to protect nature. “This announcement is a good thing for everybody. We gotta give some back, or we’ll wind up in this situation where we have nothing left — truly nothing.”

The Narwhal

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