Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change is suggesting Wood Bison are facing imminent threats in their recovery.
A summary was released on the federal government’s website on Wednesday where Jonathan Wilkinson stated herds in Northern Alberta are seeing their population decrease.
He mentioned two key factors: tuberculosis and brucellosis which have infected many bison, especially those living in Wood Buffalo National Park, and range loss from industrial projects.
Right now the focus is on two herds, the Wabasca Herd and Ronald Lake Herd which is located south of WBNP.
As for the industrial projects, Wilkinson didn’t directly target Teck Resources’ Frontier project which would be located right next to the park.
His Ministry is currently reviewing the 260,000 barrels of oil per day project to determine whether it should be approved.
However, Wilkinson states his opinion on the bison came after reviewing documents related to the project, studies done on the animal, and speaking directly with Indigenous groups.
Meanwhile, he notes there are currently no immediate threats to the survival of the species.