No participation in reindeer games! Quebec warns you to leave the caribou alone or otherwise $$$
Leave the caribou alone! This is the message of the Government of Quebec in a December 15 Press release warn the public of the adverse health effects that human activity may have on animals, especially a population of the so-called mountain caribou, an ecotype of the woodland caribou found in the highlands of the Gaspé Peninsula.
The Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs (MFFP) says that the Gaspé mountain caribou have been considered endangered in the province since 2009 and represent the “last vestige” of a population that once spread over the eastern Canada and the northeastern United States.
Authorities estimate that only 32 to 36 animals remain in Gaspé.
The MFFP asks Quebeckers to avoid certain parts of the Chic-Chocs wildlife reserve and to consider visiting other parks following recent sightings of caribou.
“The disturbance of caribou in a ravine (winter habitat) can lead to increased energy expenditure, especially in calves, thereby altering their physical condition,” the ministry said in the statement.
“It can even be detrimental to their survival by forcing them to move to areas that are less favorable to them.”
Voluntarily approaching caribou or allowing pets to do so is enough to disturb them, according to the ministry. And there could be consequences for anyone who does.
The MFFP specifies that disturbing caribou or other big game activities in their natural habitat could result in a minimum fine of $ 1,825 and a suspension of your hunting license for two years.
Other populations of woodland caribou persist in Quebec, including woodland caribou in much of the north and migrating caribou in the barren ground.
The cover image for this article is used for illustration purposes only.