Boreal Woodland Caribou Conservation and Habitat Restoration
Boreal woodland caribou are found across Canada, and are listed federally as “Threatened” under the Species At Risk Act (SARA). These populations are declining due to many interconnected factors, including natural and human-caused landscape changes that contribute to increased caribou predation.
Canadian Natural supports coordinated work with industry, provincial and federal governments, Indigenous communities and other resource sectors to develop strategies for caribou research, management and recovery through a balanced, long-term approach. We participate in caribou research and collaborative projects through Government of Alberta-led caribou range planning, as well as initiatives developed through numerous industry organizations.
Approximately 25% of Canadian Natural’s mineral land base in Canada is located within federally defined woodland caribou ranges, and we are committed to being part of the solution to ensure a shared working landscape that allows caribou to co-exist with responsible development of resources.
Canadian Natural is active in numerous woodland caribou recovery efforts, including these key projects:
- Habitat Restoration
- Regional Industry Caribou Collaboration (RICC) members restored more than 1,300 km of legacy seismic lines across northeastern Alberta, reducing fragmented areas, forest clearings and linear corridors where predation levels are higher. Read more about industry caribou habitat restoration efforts on the COSIA website.
- Canadian Natural completed restoration and revegetation of over 200 km of legacy seismic lines in northeast Alberta with the Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta (FRIAA) and Alberta Environment and Parks, which included planting of over 73,100 trees.
- Penning Programs
- Canadian Natural supported the Klinse-Za Caribou Maternal Penning program, led by the West Moberly and Saulteau First Nations in northeast British Columbia. This project helps protect caribou calves and cows from predators until newborns are better equipped to protect themselves, helping reduce calf predation and recover populations. Results show that calf survival beyond one year is 46% higher within the pen than for members of the herd in the wild.
- We are also working with the Alberta government and Indigenous stakeholders on design and implementation of the proposed Little Smoky Rearing Facility, located ~350 km northwest of Edmonton.
- Research made all the above projects possible and more research is underway to improve strategies and develop new approaches to achieve self-sustaining woodland caribou populations.