Caribou in trouble, whales resurgent: A census of B.C. species

Leslie Young, Global News

The past few decades have been good to British Columbia’s humpback and sperm whales. But the province’s boreal caribou and a tiny, vital smelt species are not doing so well.

The data, released in February 2013 on the province’s Data BC website, ranks vertebrates by their conservation status. Species are assessed on three major factors, according to Eric Lofroth, manager of the B.C. Conservation Data Centre: their population numbers, threats to the organism, and trends in the organism’s population and habitat.

But declining population numbers don’t necessarily mean an animal’s protected: A high-risk ranking might place an animal on the lists of species that require special consideration – meaning flagging them for further investigation, but wouldn’t confer “endangered” status.

Read the full story here.

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