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Gaspésie Woodland Caribou Recovery Plan (2002-2012)

Recovery Plan

In order to maintain and promote an increase in the Gaspésie Woodland Caribou population, the Recovery Team has identified two main objectives, each of which involves a number of recovery measures.

 

Recovery Goal

The fact that the Gaspésie Woodland Caribou is naturally limited to a relatively rare habitat affects its recovery. This population will remain low with a very limited range. Despite the natural limiting factors that could affect the population, reducing impacts should ensure the population survival and, in the longer term, its full recovery. Therefore, this plan’s recovery goal is to increase the population to a viable level.

 

Objectives

Objective 1:  For the population’s recovery to be successful, calves must make up 17% of the total population.

Since the current survival rate of adult caribou is approximately 87%, the population’s recovery will only be possible if the proportion of calves in the population is at least 17%. For this objective to be achieved in the short and medium terms, predator control operations must be applied systematically over a three-year period, at the end of which the situation will be reassessed. Even if controls are eventually abandoned, they should be re-introduced if fall data shows that targets are no longer being reached.

Objective 2:  Increase the size of the population to 150 caribou in 2007 and 175 caribou in 2012.

Taking the current caribou survival rate into consideration, the estimated population should be 150 caribou in 2007 and 175 caribou in 2012.

 

Strategies proposed by the Team

 

Table 3. Description of actions to be taken as part of the Gaspésie Woodland Caribou Recovery Plan.
Monitoring and interventions
NoActionDescription of the ActivityPriorityPerformance Indicators
1Predator control: black bears and coyote

· Control of these two predators will only take place in the areas around Mont Albert and the McGerrigle Mountains. (The other summit, Mont Logan, will be used as a control for the research project.) Predator control will ensure immediate protection of calves and the subsequent growth of the population.

Coyote:

One strategy is to prepare coyote feeding sites some time in February in the areas around the summits of Mont Albert and the McGerrigle Mountains. The sites will be visited, and observed by means of aerial surveys prior to the caribou calving period. Another strategy involves setting out traps during the calving period and at the end of the summer.

Black bear:

Black bear control involves placing baited lethal traps in 200-litre barrels in areas near the summits during the period from early spring until mid-July. In addition, medium-sized traps will be used in smaller barrels, which will also be placed near the summits.

1

Results of the control operations:

- Trapping effort.

- Number of coyotes and black bear caught.

- Caribou fall population inventory.

- Report on findings (annual monitoring by the Recovery Team).

2Encourage black bear and coyote trapping.· Encourage trapping in areas adjacent to Gaspésie provincial park by setting up special programs or introducing initiatives aimed at increasing trappers’ involvement. Certain elements could be re-examined, including the area and boundaries of trapping zones, the limitations on trapping permits, the cost of leasing territories, and operating conditions (harvest period, season, annual trapping quotas).1

- Number of areas covered by a lease of exclusive trapping rights.

- Annual trapping levels.

3Research project: use of habitat and territory by Gaspésie Woodland Caribou predators.

Objectives:

1-  The population’s precarious situation means that predator control operations must be clearly focused. We therefore need to have a better understanding of the ecology of the black bear and the coyote.

2-  Knowledge is also required in order to improve the habitat management strategy in the new version of the forest management plan.

 Methodology:

Approximately 30 black bears and 30 coyotes will be equipped with GPS or VHF radio-collars for a period of three years. When it is possible, the collars will be removed and put on other animals so that we can track 30 different individuals in each of the two species during the study period.

1

- Progress report

- Trapping effort

- Number of live captures

- Number of radio-telemetry locations

- Report on findings: annual monitoring by the Recovery Team

- Monitoring of the forest management plan

4Raise public awareness of the Gaspésie Woodland Caribou Recovery Plan (2002-2012)

· Develop a communication strategy to inform the general public about the content of the Gaspésie Woodland Caribou Recovery Plan.

· Develop a communication strategy to inform personnel working at Gaspésie provincial park and the Chic-Chocs and Matane wildlife sanctuaries about the content of the Gaspésie Woodland Caribou Recovery Plan.

1

- News conference

- Post-publicity coverage

- Local media

- Gaspésie provincial park harmonisation table

- Wildlife sanctuaries’ local boards of directors (LBD)

- FAPAQ intranet site

- Meeting with wildlife sanctuaries’ personnel

5Organize the gathering of information on the caribou population and its predators, based on field observations (by naturalists and clients).· Continue to gather information on the caribou population and its predators based on field observations, from sources such as ad hoc observations made by park naturalists, and others; data regarding the use of the wildlife sanctuaries, and scat trails. Consider developing a relative predator abundance indicator.1

- Data compilation.

- Development of maps illustrating the observations.

- Data on the use of the wildlife sanctuaries.

- Scat trail results.

6Promote reasonable levels of black bear sport hunting in areas adjacent to Gaspésie provincial park.· In light of the potential of the areas surrounding the Mont Albert, McGerrigle Mountains and Mont Logan sectors, black bear hunting will be promoted.1

-    Discussions with officials at the Chic-Chocs and Matane wildlife sanctuaries and the Cap-Chat Controlled Zone (CZ) aimed at establishing a wildlife profile.

-    LBD of the Chic-Chocs and Matane wildlife sanctuaries and the Board of Directors of the Cap-Chat CZ administration.

7Wildlife protection plan

· Wildlife protection services at the Sainte-Anne-des-Monts and Matane offices will give priority to all complaints or incident reports involving caribou.

In partnership with Gaspésie provincial park and the Chic-Chocs and Matane wildlife sanctuaries, wildlife protection services will ensure that the four wildlife protection plans in question make mention of the problems facing the caribou population, and required protection measures, if applicable.

1

-  Development of protection plans.

-  Monitoring of protection plans.

-  Assessment of protection plans.

-  Event reports from various organizations, and the SPF.

-  Agreed-upon actions,and ad hoc observations.

8Improvements to the forest management plan

· Improve the next version of the forest management plan.

- Review the plan’s objectives, zoning issues and the forest management strategy.

· Taking the caribou’s current situation into consideration, ensure the integration of knowledge acquired through research projects into the next version of the forest management plan.

2- Monitoring Committee: Forest management plan
9Manage human disturbances and the development of tourist activities; monitor the number of tourists.

· Continue providing a framework for the development of recreational and tourist activities.

 Harmonize the overall recreational and tourist activity management strategy.

2

- Visitor statistics

- Management plan: Gaspésie provincial park

10Review the boundaries of the caribou’s legal habitat.·   Review the boundaries of the legal habitat in relation to caribou distribution in order to harmonize the framework for forestry, mining, and recreational and tourist activities.2-    Monitoring committee: Forest management plan
11Assess the mining situation in areas adjacent to Gaspésie provincial park.· Analyse the predicted impact of maintaining mining claims in areas inhabited by caribou, and identify impact mitigation measures that should be introduced.3-    Monitoring committee: Recovery Plan


Responsibilities

 

Organizations approached to participate in the Recovery Plan measures
ActionSo-
ciété
de
la
faune
et
des
parcs
du
Québec

Direc-
tion
de
l'amé-
na-
ge-
ment
de la
faune
So-
ciété
de
la
faune
et
des
parcs
du
Québec

Direc-
tion
de la
recher-
che
sur la
faune
So-
ciété
de
la
faune
et
des
parcs
du
Québec

Di-
rec-
tion
de la
pro-
tec-
tion
de la
faune
So-
ciété
de
la
faune
et
des
parcs
du
Québec

Di-
rec-
tion
de
l'ex-
per-
tise
profe-
ssio-
nne-
lle
et
tech-
nique
So-
ciété
des
éta-
blisse-
ments
de
plein
air du
Québec

Parc
na-
tional
de la
Gas-
pésie
So-
ciété
des
éta-
blisse-
ments
de
plein
air du
Québec

Ré-
serve
fau-
nique
des
Chic-
Chocs
So-
ciété
des
éta-
blisse-
ments
de
plein
air du
Québec

Ré-
serve
fau-
nique
de
Ma-
tane
Mi-
nis-
tère
des
Re-
ssour-
ces
natu-
re-
lles
Uni-
ver-
sité
du
Qué-
bec à
Ri-
mous-
ki
Asso-
cia-
tions
pro-
fessio-
nnelles
des
tra-
ppeurs
indé-
pen-
dants
Fédé-
ra-
tion
des
tra-
ppeurs
gestio-
nnai-
res
du
Qué-
bec
Con-
seils
ré-
gio-
naux
de
l'En-
viro-
nne-
ment
1.
Predator
control.
XX XXXX     
2. Encou-
rage
black
bear
and
coyote
trapping.
X    XX  XX 
3.
Re-
search
project:
the
use of
habitat
and
territory
by
caribou
predators.
XX  X   X   
4. Raise
public
awareness
of the
Gaspésie
Woo-
dland
Caribou
Recovery
Plan
(2002-2012).
XXXXXXXX XXX
5. Organize
the
gathering
of
informa-
tion
about the
caribou
po-
pulation
and its
pre-
dators
based on
field
obser-
vations.
XX  XXX X   
6.
Promote
rea-
sonable
levels of
black
bear
sport
hunting
in
areas
adjacent
to
Gaspésie
pro-
vincial
park.
X    XX     
7.
Wildlife
protection
plan
  X XXX     
8. Make
improve-
ments
to the
forest
mana-
gement
plan.
X   X  XX   
9. Manage
human
distur-
bances
and the
develop-
ment
of recrea-
tional
and
tourist
activities.
X XXXXX     
10.
Review
the
boun-
daries
of
the
caribou’s
legal
habitat.
X   XXXX    
11. 
Assess
the
mining
situation.
X      X