Canada`s Forgotten Wild Spaces
Ottawa, Canada, 23rd September 2002 - The Canadian Nature Federation today released a report detailing the critical conservation threats facing Canada`s National Wildlife Areas and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries.
Illegal poaching, resource development, the presence of toxic chemicals, and climate change are just some of the challenges facing Canada`s 49 National Wildlife Areas and 94 Migratory Bird Sanctuaries. These areas protect essential wildlife habitat for species at risk and migratory birds, especially in degraded southern landscapes, coastal regions, wetlands and the Arctic. Together, they make up an area twice the size of Nova Scotia.
The Canadian Nature Federation report comes on the eve of a meeting in Halifax of Canada`s federal and provincial ministers responsible for environment. It concludes that one of the greatest threats to this network of protected areas is lack of resources. The current annual budget is $1.7 million.
That`s just 15 cents per hectare, said Julie Gelfand, President of the Canadian Nature Federation. It means sites are not managed, enforcement is sporadic, there are health and safety concerns, and the ecological integrity of the sites is at risk. In contrast, the United States spends more than 12 dollars per hectare on wildlife refuges.
The Canadian Nature Federation has applauded the Prime Minister`s Johannesburg commitment to reinvest in federal protected areas, noting that National Wildlife Areas, Migratory Bird Sanctuaries, Marine Protected Areas and National Parks are the backbone of wildlife and habitat protection in Canada.
Adequate funding for all four is crucial to protecting the wilderness, plants and animals that are so important to Canadians, said Gelfand. This report outlines a series recommendations to ensure the health of wildlife areas, upon which Canada`s species at risk and migratory birds depend for survival.
For a full copy of the report,
please visit http://www.cnf.ca
Further information from Deborah Smith, Communications Manager, Tel. + 613 562-3447 ext. 225 or Email: email@example.com
The Canadian Nature Federation (CNF) is a member-based non-profit nature conservation organisation. CNF and Bird Studies Canada are the BirdLife International Partners in Canada.
Created: 25th Sep 2002