Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Canada's Yellowstone too small for wildlife

07.07.2006
A new scientific report by the Wildlife Conservation Society, a 110-year-old science-based conservation organization, says that Northwest Territories' Nahanni National Park Reserve – one of Canada's most beloved and storied national parks – is too small to maintain its nearly pristine population of grizzly bears, caribou and Dall's sheep.

According to the report, which looked at more than four years of WCS field data, the park needs to expand from its current size of under 5,000 square kilometers, to include the entire South Nahanni River watershed and the adjacent Nahanni Karstlands, an area totaling more than 38,000 square kilometers – four times larger than Yellowstone National Park.

The report's author, Dr. John Weaver of the Wildlife Conservation Society, said that the park's current narrow boundaries are too small to contain grizzlies, caribou and Dall's sheep, all of which occupy much larger ranges than the park currently provides. He cautions that without expanding the boundaries, these species will decline due to development pressures looming outside of the park.

"Unfortunately, wildlife do not recognize park boundaries, and this is particularly true in the case of Nahanni National Park Reserve" said Weaver, who has studied North American wildlife for more than three decades. "If we don't protect the full range of Nahanni's populations of grizzlies, caribou, and Dall's sheep, then those species are in trouble."

Weaver's research showed that the Nahanni's woodland caribou, for example, frequently travel over long distances outside of the park, and need unbroken boreal wilderness to survive. Currently, key seasonal areas for caribou lie outside of the park.

Nahanni's grizzly bear population, according to the report, contains some of the highest genetic diversity of any other grizzly population in North America, revealing a nearly pristine population of these large carnivores. Weaver also discovered new populations of Dall's sheep during his field research that feed in a unique habitat – lush grasses outside of a concentration of karst caves found no where else on the continent. But again, the area lies outside of the current national park. (more)

"We welcome the release of this study by John Weaver who is internationally respected as a wildlife biologist," says Daryl Sexsmith, executive director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society's (CPAWS) NWT chapter. CPAWS has been advocating for expansion of the Nahanni National Park Reserve to protect the entire South Nahanni watershed for the past five years, working closely with the local Dehcho First Nations.

Besides the unique concentration of karst caves, the region also contains the deepest river canyons anywhere in Canada, which resemble sections of the Grand Canyon. It also contains large hot-springs mounds that are similar to Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park. And Virginia Falls in the center of the Park Reserve are twice as high as Niagara Falls. The United Nations (UNESCO) recognized Nahanni National Park Reserve as the first World Heritage Site.

Yet, according to the report, major industrial developments across the Mackenzie River basin, including oil and gas development and mining, are imminent, so the need to address the problem of the Park's inadequate boundaries is now.

"Canada has a unique opportunity to create one of the largest and most wild national parks in the world," said Weaver.

Stephen Sautner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wcs.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersensitive through quantum entanglement

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>