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article imageReport split on how Canada's wildlife is faring

By KJ Mullins     Jul 9, 2010 in Environment
Canada's wildlife and biodiversity health is uneven, according to a Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) newly released report. In some cases, species are at risk of dying out while in other cases progress has been made to protect wildlife.
The report, "How is Wildlife faring in Canada's Parks?" notes that parks are a cornerstone of Canada's efforts to protect biodiversity- the variety of flora and fauna that make up an ecosystem. It notes that bigger and better managed parks are needed if parks are to succeed in the critical role of protecting Canada's wildlife.
During the past year the government has worked to create new parks, the establishment of Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area off the coast of British Columbia is one of the noteworthy parks mentioned in the report. The Mealy Mountains is praised because the park will protect most of the range of a threatened herd of woodland caribou.
Each year there are 500 species in Canada at risk of extinction with more at-risk species found every year.
"In Canada we have one of the best opportunities left in the world to create big parks that can protect species that need large areas of wilderness to survive. --before those species get in trouble," Mr. Hébert-Daly points out in a press release.
CPAWS suggests a range of measures to do this:
Create new parks and expand existing park boundaries.
Maintain and restore wildlife movement corridors to give wildlife larger ranges that they often need.
Restrict roads and other damaging developments.
Limit the recreational activities at parks.
Practice good park management focusing on healthy ecosystems as the first priority.
In Canada the little brown bat in the Fisher Bay area of Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba, the northern gannet, of Atlantic Canada, and New Brunswick's American marten are facing an uncertain future. There is good news though for some of the endangered species- the Ipswich savannah sparrow of Sable Island, the black dogfish of the Laurentian Channel of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the eastern wolf of Algonquin Park are being protected.
"In this International Year of Biodiversity, it is especially important that we focus on the role of Canada's parks in keeping our wildlife healthy," Mr. Hébert-Daly says.
The full report is here.
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