Wildlife Protection

Environment Canada works to ensure our wildlife is protected

With a diverse wildlife population throughout Alberta and British Columbia, protecting all species and their habitat is an important consideration in the planning for natural gas development.

Our industry operates in areas shared by many forms of wildlife. By working collaboratively with the government, industry can play an important role in protecting and maintaining wildlife habitat.  

Caribou

Protecting declining populations

Some breeds of wildlife have experienced a decline in their population and are particularly vulnerable to altered habitat and ecosystems. Protecting biodiversity requires special attention to maintain and recover declining populations. For example, declining Boreal caribou herds are caused by habitat alteration, both natural (forest fires for example) and man-made disturbances, increased predation and low reproduction rates.  

Maintaining important features of habitat is also important for wildlife protection.  For example, industry avoids impacting snags or rotting trees used as nesting sites for birds.

Through the Little Smoky and A La Peche caribou plans in Alberta, industry is also working to reclaim land, such as seismic lines and participate in breeding programs to help increase the size of caribou herds.  

The Government of Canada introduced the Species at Risk Act (SARA) to protect and provide recovery of wildlife species that:

  • no longer exist in the wild
  • are threatened as a result of human activity
  • are at risk of becoming endangered or threatened

Canada’s natural gas industry minimizes impacts of operations on the land and wildlife by:

  • Maximizing shared land access
  • Minimizing road building 
  • Drilling multiple wells from a single site
  • Scheduling work to avoid mating, nesting or migration seasons
  • Maintaining site hygiene to deter animals and use deterrence tools and programs to keep wildlife from harm

Long-term strategies

In both Alberta and B.C., governments have strategic plans and regulations in place to protect endangered species that improve identification, management and recovery of these species.

Industry also participates in a number of initiatives that focus on long-term strategies to protect wildlife.

Monitoring and reporting

Canada's energy industry demonstrates continuous improvement in environmental performance by fully understanding the extent of our impact on land and its wildlife inhabitants through monitoring and investing in technologies and best practices to reduce those impacts. Where the relationship between industry activity and wildlife is not well understood, industry plays a key role in addressing knowledge gaps vital to effective management of species. Operators in Canada support sound scientific data collection and are collaborating with each other, with government, communities and scientists to achieve this objective. And where regulated, industry monitors and reports on vulnerable and sensitive species. 

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