At its February Board meeting, the WRRB supported the proposed listing of Wood Bison as threatened in the NWT. In 2016, the NWT Species at Risk Committee assessed wood bison as Threatened in the NWT because of its small population size and recent population declines, primarily due to an outbreak of anthrax, a naturally occurring disease in northern bison, in 2012.
Mackenzie Wood Bison Photo: Susan Beaumont, WRRB
Wood Bison are currently under consideration for listing under the territorial Species at Risk (NWT) Act. The WRRB and the Tłı̨chǫ Government conducted joint community consultations in Behchokǫ̀ in November 2016 and in Whatì in January 2017 on the proposed listing. Management authorities (GNWT, Tłı̨chǫ Government, and the WRRB) are in the process of signing the consensus agreement to be submitted to the Minister of ENR in April 2017.
In February 2017, the GNWT released the NWT Boreal Caribou Recovery Strategy and the NWT Amphibian Management Plan. The recovery strategy and management plan set out goals, objectives and recommended approaches for the conservation and recovery of boreal caribou and amphibians. The next step is for the Conference of Management Authorities (CMA) to prepare consensus agreements to implement both recovery documents. Management authorities including the WRRB met on January 24-26, 2017 to begin working on the agreements. The final implementation agreements are due in November 2017.
Boreal caribou were added to the NWT List of Species at Risk as a threatened species in February 2014. They were designated as threatened because of their small population size and an expected continuing decline in the amount of secure habitat and the number of boreal caribou. Habitat loss and habitat fragmentation from human-caused disturbances such as roads and natural disturbances including forest fires are the main threats to these caribou.
In 2003, boreal caribou were listed as Threatened under the federal Species at Risk Act and a National Recovery Strategy for these caribou was released in 2012. The strategy identifies critical habitat for boreal caribou as a minimum of 65% undisturbed habitat throughout boreal caribou range. The NWT Boreal Caribou Recovery Strategy includes regional plans which will protect critical habitat and describe how the Boreal caribou range will be managed to maintain at least 65% undisturbed habitat. Read more
The Northern Leopard Frog and the Western Toad were added to the NWT List of Species at Risk as threatenend species in 2015 and 2016 respectively. While the other three NWT amphibian species, including the two amphibians found in Wek’èezhìı--the Boreal Chorus Frog and the Wood Frog--and the Canadian Toad, are not currently assessed as species at risk, they share several threats in common. Diseases, human activities that alter habitat, accidents, contaminants, increasing UV-B radiation, and climate change are all threats to amphibians. The NWT Amphibians Management Plan was developed to help conserve these species at risk and address the needs of all amphibians in the territory. Read more