Alberta, Canada wildlife needs more protection

This 2017 video is about wildlife in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.

From Wildlife Extra:

More protection needed for vulnerable wildlife in Southern Canadian Rockies of Alberta

July 2013. A new report from the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada (WCS Canada) calls for the designation of new Wildland Provincial Parks in the Southern Canadian Rockies of Alberta to protect vulnerable wildlife and provide for their safe passage in an increasingly fragmented landscape. The report focused on determining important, secure habitats (“safe havens”) and landscape connections (“safe passages”) for six species-bull trout, West Slope cutthroat trout, grizzly bears, wolverines, mountain goats and bighorn sheep. These species are vulnerable to loss of secure habitat from industrial land uses and/or climate change.

Nestled between Banff and Waterton Parks, the Southern Canadian Rockies in Alberta has been overshadowed by these two iconic national parks. Yet this area contains spectacular landscapes, supports one of the most diverse communities of big animals in North America, and is a stronghold for the six vulnerable species that have been vanquished in much of their range further south.

In the report entitled Protecting and Connecting Headwater Havens, WCS Canada’s award-winning Conservation Scientist, Dr. John Weaver concluded that “Once abundant populations have disappeared from some regions, but remnant ones persist in remaining strongholds. These represent hope and opportunity to protect and recover the wildlife heritage of Alberta. Designation of new Wildland Provincial Parks would demonstrate stronger commitment to safeguard these headwater havens of wildlife and water treasures in the Southern Canadian Rockies of Alberta.”

Weaver assessed 6,452 square kilometres of land to determine its conservation value for the vulnerable species and the cumulative challenges of expanding industrial resource extraction and mechanized recreation facing each of them. For example, about 20 percent of the land is prime habitat for the threatened grizzly bear but may serve as ‘attractive traps’ due to the high density of roads. As climate changes, warmer winters will reduce mountain snow cover and suitable habitat for the rare wolverine, a species highly adapted to persistent snow pack. Reduced stream flow and warmer stream temperatures will diminish habitat for westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout, native fish adapted well to cold waters – while favouring introduced rainbow trout and brook trout.

Recommendation to designate 257,065 ha of Crown land as Wildland Provincial Parks

Weaver recommends designating 257,065 ha of Crown land as Wildland Provincial Parks because it would be a smart investment that would conserve 66 percent of important habitats on 40 percent of the land. Vital places with particular concentration of present and future habitat include Castle Special Place, lands on the north and south of the Crowsnest Pass, the headwaters of the Oldman River, and the headwater basins of the Highwood River. The new direction would recognize the value of wildlife diversity and headwater sources of clean water but require improved management of other land uses.

“This report will help inform discussions and decisions about land management in the Southern Canadian Rockies of Alberta,” said Weaver. “These spectacular landscapes provide some of the best remaining strongholds for vulnerable fish and wildlife. Protecting lands for conservation will help ensure that this rich diversity of fish and wildlife will be enjoyed by people today and generations yet to come.”

10 thoughts on “Alberta, Canada wildlife needs more protection

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  3. Saturday, 9 May 2015

    Canadian workers defeat the Alberta Tories!

    THE ruling right-wing Tory government of Canada got a massive shock last Tuesday when the Progressive Conservative party (PC) were decisively thrashed in elections in the crucial state of Alberta.
    PC was pushed into a humiliating third in elections that saw 44 years of Tory rule ended by the trade union-backed New Democratic Party (NPD) which won over 40% of the vote – a 400% increase on the vote they obtained in the 2012 elections – a result that was declared to be a seismic shift in Canadian politics.

    Alberta is the largest producer of conventional crude oil, synthetic crude, natural gas and gas products in Canada and is the world’s second largest exporter of natural gas and the fourth largest producer. Once the most prosperous state in Canada, Alberta has been hit hard by the dramatic fall in international oil prices with thousands of workers laid off from the high-cost tar-sands operations.

    During the campaign the NDP pledged to raise corporate taxes and threatened to raise royalties on the regional oil industry and in addition to withdraw the province’s support for the highly controversial Keystone XL pipeline, the pipeline through which the Federal Tory Canadian government along with the US planned to move oil products from Alberta onto the world market.

    The election of the NDP is ‘completely devastating’, declared financier Rafi Tahmazian of Canoe Financial LP in Calgary, Canada’s oil capital, adding: ‘The perception from the market based on their comments is they’re extremely dangerous.’ Some analysts have gone as far as saying that this unexpected and sweeping victory of a ‘left’ party in what was previously considered to be a bastion of right-wing conservatism is comparable with a socialist being elected governor of Texas!

    Alberta is not alone in reeling from an economic crisis. The province of Newfoundland and Labrador was being described back in 2013 as ‘booming’, now it is officially in a state of economic recession.

    The response of the Tory government of the province has been to introduce massive cuts in public sector jobs – 1,420 are to be axed – and a programme of extensive privatisation in health and other public services. This has prompted an immediate response from the trade union movement, who this week organised a demonstration on the steps of the Confederation Building, the home of the House of Assembly, to protest at cuts to the public services and the privatisation of long-term care. ‘Our public sector is not for sale,’ Mary Shortall, president of the Federation of Labour, said to a cheering crowd. ‘Our public services are not for sale.’

    As well, in a pre-budget announcement, the government said it will collaborate with private and non-profit partners to open 360 long-term beds around the province.
    Union opposition to both moves was expressed by incoming Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE/NUPGE) president Jerry Earle who vowed a labour fight over a ‘privatisation agenda.’

    In a statement issued by the NAPE/NUPGE, one of Canada’s largest labour organisations with over 340,000 members, Earle said: ‘In no uncertain terms, this is an attack on the public health care system and on the public sector workers who provide this vital service to the people of the province. This is another move by this government, championed by employer groups who stand to make huge profits from these agreements, towards a greater role for the private sector in the delivery of public services. Make no mistake, we will fight this privatisation agenda.’

    Public-private partnerships (P3s) involve commercial contracts between governments and private businesses in the design, construction, financing and operation of public infrastructure and services that have traditionally been delivered by the public sector, such as hospitals or schools.

    Earle said: ‘In almost every example, governments across Canada and around the world claim that P3s are “innovative” and “more efficient,” but the real world experience shows that the opposite is true. P3s are not a new and innovative idea; they have been around for decades. So, too, has their failure.’ Earle concluded: ‘We are calling on government to abandon this wasteful model and to commit to a quality, publicly funded, designed, and operated system of long-term care in this province.’

    He went on to warn: ‘If they insist on moving forward with this ill-fated plan, we will have no choice but to do everything in our power to make them pay the political price.’
    The Canadian working class is clearly on the move as the country which boasted that it was unaffected by the world banking collapse in 2008 is now firmly in the grip of the international crisis of capitalism.


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