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Scientific Review for the Identification of Critical Habitat for Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), Boreal Population, in Canada

RESULTS

5.1 Proposed Critical Habitat Identi.cation for Local Populations of Boreal Caribou in Canada

The result of the application of the Decision Tree is described in Table 6. Based on this science review, proposed Critical Habitat designations are described for each local population as the Current Range, Current Range and Improved Conditions, or Current Range and Consider Resilience, based on the integrated probability assignment (Section 2.6.5) and application of decision rules (Section 2.6.6). The notes column provides explanations and considerations for each local population. These notes could be augmented by additional information available from jurisdictions. Limited, local population information was available at the time of this assessment, and for consistency, the results presented include only that information available across all populations, and considered in the present evaluation. A general description of the components of Critical Habitat to be considered within local population ranges is found in the Habitat Narrative (Appendix 6.3) and is referenced in Table 6 by ecozones and ecoregions relevant to each local population.


Application of the Critical Habitat Identi.cation Framework to each local population or unit of analysis was based on the most current available information provided by jurisdictions for: delineation of local populations or units of analysis (where these have been de. ned); trend data; and population size data. Disturbance data was derived using a nationally consistent method as part of the science review. The science review did not include an assessment of data quality for data provided by jurisdictions, although Appendix 6.9 provides an indication of the level of con.dence as provided by jurisdictions. National, standardized criteria and methods for boreal caribou population assessments do not exist and have been recommended as an activity in the Schedule of Studies (Section 4.4, Table 7) to improve comparability in reporting.

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Table 6: Proposed Critical Habitat Identi. cation, by local population or unit of analysis, for boreal caribou within their current distribution inCanada.

To support Results interpretation, Figure 9 illustrates the integrated probability assignments to each local population, and the assessment of the most plausible outcome relative to the likelihood that the current range is self-sustaining. It is important to note that the integrated probability assignment should not be interpreted as an absolute probability of persistence, due both to variation in the generation of probabilities for each criterion, and the method by which the criteria were integrated. However, it is a weight of evidence measure relative to the question of whether a given range (the spatial delineation of a local population or unit of analysis) is likely to support a self-sustaining population as a function of the current range and population conditions. Further, it is not an indication of whether a population is recoverable or not; rather, it is an expression of the degree of habitat recovery or management intervention necessary to restore the population's ability to be self-sustaining (e.g., to persist without the need for ongoing management intervention; Section 2.2.4).

The resultant proposed Critical Habitat Identifi cation for the 57 recognized local populations or units of analysis considered in the decision analysis was:

■ Current Range for 25 local populations or units of analysis;
■ Current Range and Improved Conditions for 21 local populations or units of analysis;
■ Current Range and Consider Resilience for 11 local populations or units of analysis.

 

Figure 9: Probability that current range will support a self-sustaining population of boreal caribou, based on integrated probability assignments that considered population trend and size, and level of disturbance associated with anthropogenic activities and .re (see Section 2.6.5). This Figure is not an illustration of whether a population is recoverable or not, rather, it is an indication of the degree of habitat change necessary to enable a population to be self-sustaining (e.g. to persist without the need for ongoing management intervention).