Canada caribou cover up?

According to a report released by the Canadian government, the country’s herds of caribou are in decline and could die out in the next hundred years.

Equally disturbing is the news the government received the report close to a year ago and has only now made it public.

Perhaps it has something to do with the worst affected herds happen to be in areas of logging, oil and gas development?

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) says woodland caribou is a bellwether species that indicates the health of Canada’s Boreal forest wilderness. CPAWS is calling for an immediate pause to logging and new development activity in critical caribou habitat.

I’ve written about Canada’s oil/tar sands in the past; both regarding the general environmental impact and more specifically the danger the operations pose to birds.

There’s big bucks involved for the Canadian economy from this resource; but also a lot at stake environmentally – the projects are ripping up forests at a frightening rate, consuming energy like there’s no tomorrow and causing major health issues.

Conventional oil extraction has nothing on tar sands operations in terms of input compared to output – it really is quite frightening.

There’s an excellent, in-depth look at the oils sands problem on National Geographic and a documentary called Downstream that highlights the plight of communities affected by the tar sands.