Notice of permit

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Regional or Local Number: 2006-925

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 74 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. 2006-925 is issued.

Scientific research for the conservation of the species

The South Jasper Caribou project has four components: 1) monitoring population dynamics; 2) researching caribou ecology; 3) implementing recovery actions; and 4) communicating recovery goals. 1) We are monitoring population size, adult survival, and calf recruitment using radio-telemetry and aerial surveys. 2) We are researching caribou habitat use and selection (using GPS radio-telemetry location data), fladry as a predator-mobility deterrent, lithium chloride as a caribou deterrent (to keep caribou off highways), and wolf ecology. We are also investigating non-invasive methods of caribou population monitoring (fecal DNA). 3) We are implementing several recovery actions: reduced speed limits in caribou habitat, eliminating ski track-setting in caribou habitat, banning dogs from caribou habitat, establishing aircraft flight guidelines, establishing prescribed burn and firefighting guidelines, and changing visitor behaviour through education and awareness. 4) We are communicating our recovery goals through direct contact with the public, media releases, and by participating in public events organized by the Friends of Jasper volunteer organization. Our approach to recovering woodland caribou is the results of a collaborative process involving Jasper residents, local business owners, and Parks staff.

Start Date: 2006-10-02   End Date: 2008-03-31

Issuing Authority: Parks Canada Agency

Authority Used:

  • Canada National Parks Act

Location of Activity (province, territory or ocean):

  • Alberta

Affected Species:

A. The caribou population must be monitored to determine the effects of habitat fragmentation on distribution and movement in order to determine future recovery needs. Alternatives to GPS tracking have been considered and include using ground-tracking, but this technique will not provide sufficient data to meet the project objectives. Capturing and collaring the caribou is the only feasible monitoring method at this time. The use of chemical immobilization techniques from an aircraft was considered but after consultation with the Parks Canada veterinarian and the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre it was determined that net gunning by experienced personnel would be less likely to cause harm to woodland caribou than chemical immobilization. B. The capture of animals using net-guns does have potential negative side-effects, including stress and in very rare situations an animal can be mortally injured. However, we will follow an established protocol designed to reduce any risk of injury and have obtained approval from an animal care committee. The duration of the chase is limited to a maximum of 3 minutes and a short duration of the handling time will reduce the effects on the animals. Capture will not be scheduled until November when there should be sufficient snow on the ground to make capture safer for the caribou. Caribou run slower in significant snow and it provides a cushion for the animals during capture. C. The number of caribou to be captured each year is a small percentage of the population and any potential negative impacts will be so infrequent that they will not have population level effects. The benefits of this project to the recovery of the woodland caribou far outweigh the risks inherent to the research.

Contact Person(s)
Mr. Mark  Bradley
Wildlife Biologist
Parks Canada
Box 10
Jasper, AB
T0E 1E0
Tel: 780-852-4042
Fax: 780-852-4775

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