Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) boreal and southern mountain populations are designated as threatened under Canada’s Species at Risk Act and Alberta’s Wildlife Act. Many tools are being used towards achieving self-sustaining caribou populations in Alberta including habitat restoration on seismic lines.
Seismic lines contribute significantly to the disturbance level in caribou habitat because they are so prevalent. Intersecting seismic lines makes it easy for humans and predators to move quickly through the landscape. Linear restoration is an attempt to restrict that movement and restore habitat. In the short term, barricading the path occasionally with trees restricts movement. In the long term, planted trees – which were protected by short-term actions – match the neighbouring forest to eliminate the seismic line disturbance. Successfully re-establishing tree cover could increase undisturbed habitat more than other management tools.
We’ll review some of the challenges and opportunities associated with linear restoration, give an overview of what is happening in Alberta, and discuss some of the projects with which we’ve been involved
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