May 17, 2010

I love caribou meat, but I guess not this year

I love caribou meat and serve it at the restaurant until a client made a comment. After a bit of research I realized that there is some concern about this powerful beast. So I adopted my caribou George from WWF, fuck, we all do at one time or another. Because as we know it is not necessarily what we source and eat, but often what we are not eating. The text below is taken from Environment Canada, Species at risk. good reading for good eating.

There are many threats that directly and/or indirectly affect local populations of boreal caribou and their habitat, including:

  • habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation;

  • predation, mainly by wolves and bears;

  • over-harvesting (hunting, poaching);

  • noise and light disturbance (from forestry; oil, gas and mining operations; low-level aircraft flights; use of snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles);

  • parasites and disease; and

  • changes in weather and climate.

The main threat to boreal caribou is unnaturally high predation rates as a result of habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation (the breaking up of continuous habitat into smaller pieces). These habitat alterations impact boreal caribou in many ways. Firstly, the clearing of forests and building of roads for industrial activities reduces the amount and quality of habitat available in which the boreal caribou can live and reproduce. In addition, these activities often lead to an increase in area of young forests, favouring species such as deer, moose and elk, which then increase in number. This increase in the number of deer, moose or elk in turn supports a higher number of predators, such as wolves. Finally, large-scale habitat alterations can also affect boreal caribou by making it easier for predators such as wolves to move across the landscape and prey on caribou. The resulting increase in predation can have a serious impact on boreal caribou, causing their populations to decline.

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