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MNRF says action being taken to save Lake Superior caribou

Dec 07, 2017 09:06PM ● Published by Editor

The minister of Natural Resources and Forestry says the province is taking steps to save a declining caribou herd on Michipicoten Island in Lake Superior. (Christian Schroeder)

From CBC News - Last Updated: Dec 07, 2017 4:57 PM ET

Ontario's minister of Natural Resources and Forestry says the province is taking steps to save the southernmost caribou herd in the country from extinction.

It's on Michipicoten Island in Lake Superior, where they were reintroduced in the early 1980s.

The population grew to over 700 at one point, but has been cut down after wolves walked across the ice a few years ago. It's since declined to under 100 caribou.On Thursday, the minister released a statement about the province's plan to take action. Kathryn McGarry says her ministry has been working with Michipicoten First Nation Chief Patricia Tangie to come up with a solution.

"We will be transporting a suitable portion of the caribou population to the Slate Islands to ensure the continued viability of this important species on an island free from predators," she said in statement.

"There is an existing caribou population on the Slate island and the transported animals will augment the existing herd and breed safely, which we hope will expand the population."

McGarry didn't say when the caribou will be moved, but said the relocation will happen soon.

"We also plan on initiating a broader discussion to seek input into the overall approach for managing the Lake Superior Coastal Range of caribou," she said.

Lake Superior Ice Coverage Map. Click on map to enlarge. [GLERL Ice Concentration for Lake Superior]

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