PARK PRO­TEC­TORS

Six species at risk that the un­sung he­roes of Parks Canada are striv­ing to save

Canadian Geographic - - CONTENTS - By Niki Wil­son

Six species at risk that the un­sung he­roes of Parks Canada are striv­ing to save

A PARKS CANADA sci­en­tist laces up his boots, throws on a 23kilo­gram pack and heads for the sub­alpine of the Rock­ies in search of a white­bark pine tree that could help save the species. Mean­while, across the coun­try in Prince Ed­ward Is­land Na­tional Park, a re­source con­ser­va­tion of­fi­cer rises at the crack of dawn, grabs her binoc­u­lars and watches over a small group of crit­i­cally en­dan­gered pip­ing plovers for hours. Pulling species at risk back from the brink is nei­ther a nineto-five job nor short-term. Many such pro­grams re­quire years, if not decades, of over­sight. And for many Parks Canada sci­en­tists and staff, it’s a crit­i­cal — if lit­tle-known — part of their work. In­deed, it’s the kind of com­mit­ment nec­es­sary to help Canada meet the tar­gets of the 1992 Con­ven­tion on Bi­o­log­i­cal Di­ver­sity. In par­tic­u­lar, new goals for­mu­lated at the 10th meet­ing of con­ven­tion sig­na­to­ries in Aichi Pre­fec­ture, Ja­pan, in Oc­to­ber 2010 man­date Canada to meet the ob­jec­tives es­tab­lished in re­cov­ery strate­gies or man­age­ment plans for each species at risk by 2020. There’s a lot of work to be done, but the ef­forts un­der­taken on the fol­low­ing six species-at-risk con­ser­va­tion projects in Canada’s na­tional park sys­tem show the prom­ise of re­sults on the long roads to re­cov­ery.

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