Northeast Alberta Caribou Predator Fencing Pilot: Overview

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Terry Antoniuk, John Nishi, Rochelle Harding, Lynn McNeil, Karen Manuel
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The Caribou Predator Fencing Pilot project (the Pilot) is a tool developed by Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) Land Environmental Priority Area (Land EPA) for caribou recovery. The objective of the Pilot project is to advance the design of a predator exclosure fence, with the goal of expediting GOA endorsement and authorization of a caribou fencing trial. More specifically, the intent of the project is to ensure that a properly designed fencing scheme can be formally evaluated as a component of the northeast Alberta woodland caribou range and action plans.

A predator fence is a conservation approach that establishes and maintains a small breeding subpopulation of caribou in a large fenced enclosure within its original range. The fence is designed to exclude wolves and bears so that caribou reproductive success is improved, allowing surplus yearlings from within the fence to be moved outside to supplement the surrounding range population(s).

This document compiles three reports completed to advance the Caribou Predator Fencing Pilot:

1. Preliminary Fence Design

2. Regulatory Road Map, Strategy and Implementation Program

3. Stakeholder Engagement Strategy

These reports discuss scope, design and outcomes for the Pilot with recommended exclosure area assessment and layouts, proposed establishment of pilot governance including a third-party Fence Management Team, and a 10 year schedule detailing success metrics of the Pilot.