WCS Canada

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Bighorn Backcountry of Alberta: protecting Vulnerable Wildlife and Precious Waters
A new scientific analysis by Wildlife Conservation Society Canada has identified a conservation gem nestled beside the two crown jewels of the Rocky Mountain national park system. The area, known as the Bighorn Backcountry, lies just east of Banff and Jasper National Parks in Alberta and represents one of the most ecologically important areas in the province’s Eastern Slopes region. 
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Securing a Wild Future for Yukon's Boreal Mountains
Yukon’s Boreal Mountains region adds a whole dimension to Canada’s most iconic forest.  Here snow capped mountains and alpine plateaus are perched above broad river valleys rich with life.  The region is a haven for predators and prey alike, from grizzly bears and wolves to sheep and moose.  There are few other places left in the world that have been so little changed by human development.  That’s why we need a plan to protect the wild in this globally important region.  As a first step, WCS Canada has developed a major new report assessing options for creating a network of conservation lands in the region.  We examined thousands of possibilities to map out the best networks for keeping the wild alive in this vast region. Yukoners love the outdoors and having wild places on their doorstep.  We wanted to help them understand what needs to be done to keep ecosystems intact and wildlife populations healthy.  Read the full report and news release

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Naturally Resilient: A strategy to adapt to climate change or business-as- usual?
To address climate change in Ontario, Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) developed a Climate Change Action Plan identifying a number of actions, across multiple ministries aimed at reducing the magnitude and/or rate of greenhouse gas emissions. Because climate change is already impacting human communities and natural systems, MOECC also developed a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy identifying a number of actions, across multiple ministries. The Strategy

 focuses on a 5 high level goals that acknowledge MNRF’s responsibilities, includes a commitment to science and research through partnerships, and prioritizes MNRF’s mandate areas that are at risk due to climate change impacts (e.g., forest management, wetland conservation, water management, species at risk). WCS Canada scientists offered a number of recommendations to strengthen the Strategy.

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Enhancing the protection of fish and fish habitat in Canada: A critical opportunity to breathe new life into failing policy
Although fish and fisheries are an integral part of Canada’s history, culture, and economyprotection for fish and fish habitats has been declining in Canada for at least a decadeThe Fisheries Act is Canada’s oldest environmental law and an important piece of legislation that gives the Government of Canada the authority to manage fisheries and protect fish habitat. However to be effective, the Fisheries Act must be modernized, include evidence-based approaches to protecting fish and fish habitat, and restore provisions that were removed in 2012. In June, 2016 the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans were asked to lead a comprehensive review  of the Fisheries Act and solicit input from  the public and experts. WCS Canada’s freshwater scientists were among the many voices providing recommendations to the committee.  We were also signatories to a joint letter outlining common priorities for the Act’s revitalization to Minister LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.
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Big Bat Find in Alberta’s Boreal Forest

A joint effort between WCS Canada’s BatCaver and Alberta Environment and Parks has led to the discovery of the largest bat hibernation cave ever recorded in Alberta, outside the Rocky Mountains. This newly-discovered cave is being used for hibernation by several hundred Little Brown Myotis bats, listed as Endangered under Canada’s Species at Risk Act. It is now more important than ever to discover new hibernation sites since the arrival of white-nose syndrome (WNS) to Washington State in March 2016.This discovery demonstrates that large hibernation sites do exist outside the Rocky Mountains, and similar caves may exist in other non-mountainous areas throughout the boreal forest. 

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