January 27, 2004
(Tourism, Culture and Recreation)


Minister releases recovery plans under the Endangered Species Act

Tourism, Culture and Recreation Minister Paul Shelley today released recovery plans for two endangered species under the province�s Endangered Species Act. The Barrens Willow and Wolverine (Eastern region) were listed as endangered species under the Act in July 2002. The recovery plan for the Barrens Willow was prepared by the Limestone Barrens Species at Risk Recovery Team, while the Wolverine recovery plan was prepared by the national Wolverine Recovery Team.

"Government is committed to the protection and recovery of our species at risk and to working with local individuals and groups who may be impacted by recovery actions," said Minister Shelley. "Recovery plans for endangered species provide government with a blueprint for action. The plans are developed by experts on the species, by wildlife managers and by others with a specific stake in the species recovery. Most important, the plans outline goals and objectives, identify specific actions and establish priorities for action."

The Barrens Willow is found only on the tip of the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland where it is threatened by loss of habitat and habitat degradation from land-use activities. The goal of the recovery plan is to secure the long-term persistence of the natural population throughout its range. The plan has four recovery objectives: 1) to assess and monitor the status of the natural population; 2) to define threats and limiting factors and mitigate controllable ones; 3) to lessen, to the extent possible, additional habitat loss and degradation due to human activities; and, 4) to encourage stewardship by local residents. Steps to achieving this goal include biological surveys, habitat protection, monitoring, research, stewardship and restoration.

The plan for the Wolverine (Eastern region), the largest member of the weasel family once found throughout most of Labrador, was jointly prepared with the Province of Quebec which shares the range of this species. The plan identifies a recovery goal of about 100 animals in the Labrador/Quebec region. Key to achieving this will be the implementation of a series of actions such as habitat identification and management; assessment of food requirements; development of management and research techniques; carrying out of population monitoring; establishment of partnerships with aboriginal groups; protection of the animal; and, depending on the outcome of ongoing population monitoring and stewardship initiatives, a release program. The province has formed a Wolverine Recovery Working Group in Labrador consisting of resource managers and researchers, stakeholders and aboriginal groups, to help implement the plan.

Minister Shelley said: "I commend the dedicated efforts of the recovery team members who continue to work toward the recovery of these species. It is the partnership the department has formed with these experts, with stakeholders, and other interested individuals and groups which I believe will ensure the long-term survival and recovery of the Barrens Willow and Wolverine."

Copies of these and other recovery plans are available from the Inland Fish and Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 2007, Corner Brook, NL or by phoning (709) 637-2026.

Media contact: Tansy Mundon, Communications, (709) 729-0928.

2004 01 27                                         2:20 p.m.

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