Saving Caribous


Cédrick Martineau, Journalist, Promotion

The Government needs to act fast if they want to save Quebec’s caribous as the population is decreasing dramatically.

Many people met in Montreal last week for the COP15 on biodiversity. While the conference mostly focussed on the creation of protected areas, the issue of the protection of the caribou was discussed since it is very important for the species’ survival.

The Ministry of Resources and Forests wants to know the opinion about the closing of forest paths to restore the habitat of the caribou of Gaspesie. They propose to remove 55 kilometres of road in the wildlife reserve of Matane. They want to destroy roads that go to the old cutting areas and remove bridges. The ministry wants to reforest certain places and create mounds of dirt so that people cannot use the roads anymore.

These measures would upgrade the caribou’s habitat and decrease predators’ movement. By destroying the roads, they are decreasing the movement of predators because the roads in the forests help bears and coyotes move faster from one place to another.

The spokesperson of the Committee of protection of the mounts Chic-Chocs, Louis Fradette, is happy to know that the government is willing to protect the endangered species, “It follows the recommendations of our scientists to restore the habitat needed for the caribou, to save it.”

The mountain caribou of Gaspesie, the last population of caribou living in St. Lawrence, has 32 to 36 animals. In 2019, the population was about 40 animals, and in 2017, about 70 caribous. It is evident that the caribou population is decreasing fast, and the government needs to act accordingly if they want to save this species.