CAC Policy Priorities: 2021

These priorities are built on submissions provided by The Canadian Section of the Wildlife Society Conservation Affairs Committee with contribution from the Canadian Chapters. Additional policy-related activities are also provided. This information can also be downloaded HERE. 

Policy Priorities:
  • Engaging Indigenous Peoples in Wildlife Conservation and Management
    • There is an increasing role for Indigenous people in wildlife conservation and management decisions.
    • In Canada (possibly also in the U.S.), there is a legal responsibility for government and other agencies to have meaningful consultation with Indigenous communities to secure input when making land-use decisions that can affect indigenous treaty rights
    •  Wildlife and other resource managers often lack the experience required when they engage with Indigenous people
    • There is a need for guidance from TWS on how indigenous people and their perspectives fit into wildlife management, in particular within the context of the N.A. Model of Wildlife Management
  • Policies to Include Climate Change in Wildlife Conservation and Management
    • With recognition that climate change can have serious consequences on the environment, there is the need to include potential implications of climate change in research and when making decisions on wildlife conservation and management.
    • Wildlife professionals need support and encouragement for including climate change in wildlife research and management.
  • Policy to Fund Science and Wildlife Related Government Staff Positions
    • There is a steady decline in the availability of funds for science and also wildlife-related positions in government agencies.
    • It is important to advocate for policies that provide funding to support ongoing science that supports wildlife conservation and management - and policies that ensure the funding of staff positions within Federal, State and Provincial/Territorial government agencies.
  • Public Land Management
    • Public lands represent the majority of land in Canada (called Crown Land). These lands are seeing increasing and multiple industrial uses (e.g. agriculture, energy development, forestry, mining).
    • These multiple uses, as well as the sale of some of these lands, often result in loss of wildlife habitat and cumulative pressures on associated wildlife species.
    • Policies that ensure the integration of the needs of wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation into public land management decisions that result in the balancing of land-use pressures are required.
  • Chronic Wasting Disease
    • The spread of Chronic Wasting Disease in Canadian wildlife populations is increasing (e.g. 2018 case in Quebec).
    • Concern about the current approach of the Federal government to monitoring domesticated wildlife relative to the spread of CWD to wildlife populations.
    • There is a need for a stronger policy to reduce the potential for the spread of CWD.
  • Marine Mammal Conservation
    • There is increasing concern over the conservation of marine mammals including the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale and Northeast Pacific northern resident population of Orca.
    • The establishment of Marine Protected Areas, protection standards and other conservation measures to protect marine mammals are current public policy issues that have consequences on several Federal departments with responsibilities for wildlife conservation.
    • There is a need to monitor the development of policies intended to protect marine mammals and provide meaningful input into such policies.
  • Transboundary Wildlife Issues
    • In recognition of the multi-jurisdictional nature of wildlife, there is an ongoing need to monitor policy decisions in neighboring jurisdictions which would have an undo influence on wildlife in Canada (e.g. USA decisions regarding the MBCA) 
Other Policy Related Activities
  • Assessment of Human-Wildlife Conflict Across Large Scales
    • Human-wildlife conflicts can have serious consequences and municipal government bylaws to address this issue have not been systematically documented, and their effectiveness has not been tested.
    • Having a coordinated understanding of how existing human-wildlife conflict tools can minimize human-wildlife conflict can assist policymakers in how best to address this issue. 
    • Perhaps a project for one of TWS Working Groups (Human Dimensions?)
  • Species at Risk Legislation
    • The implications of the Federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) are ongoing across Canada with the current focus being primarily woodland caribou and the potential use of an emergency protection order under the Act which can have serious consequences on land-use decisions.
    • Monitoring the implications of SARA is ongoing and consideration for input to support the intent of this legislation will occur as appropriate.