Natural Resources
February 29, 2008

Helicopter Patrols Helping Province Protect Threatened Caribou

Dedicated funding for helicopter surveillance is adding significant support for Department of Natural Resources conservation officers who are working to protect threatened Labrador caribou.

"In the past three years there has been a significant increase in illegal hunting targeting threatened woodland caribou along the Quebec-Labrador border region," said the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources and Minister Responsible for the Forestry and Agrifoods Agency. "By dedicating resources for helicopter surveillance, we are enabling conservation officers to more proactively plan and strategize their enforcement activities against illegal hunting in this region."

In Budget 2007, the Provincial Government provided $69,300 in new funding for dedicated helicopter patrols of the Quebec-Labrador border region. The region is home to several herds of threatened woodland caribou that hunters have illegally hunted in past years, particularly between February and mid-April. The province’s Endangered Species Act has listed these threatened woodland caribou since 2004.

"We are serving notice to all hunters that we are very serious about protecting these culturally and historically important animals," said Minister Dunderdale. "All hunters should be aware that our conservation officers have started regular patrols in the air by helicopter and on the ground by snowmobile and are prepared to enforce all hunting regulations."

Information about caribou hunting regulations, including the location of hunting zone boundaries, is available online at www.gov.nl.ca/env/wildlife/. In addition, No Caribou Hunting signs have been posted at strategic locations along snowmobile trails. Information is also available in the 2007-08 Hunting and Trapping Guide which also available online and at all Forest Management District offices throughout the province.

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Media contact:

Corey Snook
Communications and Marketing Manager
Department of Natural Resources
709-729-5777, 728-2837
CoreySnook@gov.nl.ca

2008 02 29                                                     3:40 p.m.


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