Great potential mineral wealth, including world-class mineral deposits of chromite in the Ring of Fire, has resulted in Ontario’s Far North becoming the fastest growing area of mineral exploration in the province. Resulting threats to caribou in Ontario’s northern regions include cumulative habitat disturbance and loss of access to critical areas for calving or feeding.
Although the province is committed (through the Caribou Conservation Plan) to track disturbance within caribou ranges in Ontario, that information and how it is used to make decisions about exploration and mineral development is not publicly available.
Our recently launched Caribou Story Map helps provide a “big picture” understanding of the extent and potential impacts of this type of development on caribou populations in the region, and facilitates access of hard-to-reach data to inform and promote more meaningful public engagement on exploration permit applications.
Among the specific features the Story Map provides is a hands-on mapping interface where users can find information about mining claim ownership, the status of exploration permits, and links to the different types of approved exploration activities. In addition, users can monitor where different types of exploration activities are scheduled to occur or where they are already occurring on the landscape relative to boreal caribou ranges.
The information available in the map will be critical to decision-makers in the management of this species at risk, particularly in areas identified as having overlap of conservation and mining interests.
Click here to access the Caribou Story Map
Photo credits: Banner | William Halliday © WCS Canada