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Parks Canada and Canadian Pacific Share Results From Multiyear Joint Research Initiative

​​​​​​​​Research initiative in Banff and Yoho national parks helping to protect grizzly bears

Today, Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and Mr. Glen Wilson, Assistant Vice-President Environmental Risk, Canadian Pacific (CP), announced the completion of the joint Parks Canada-CP Grizzly Bear Research Initiative to help reduce railway related risk to grizzly bears.

In 2010, CP and Parks Canada signed a five-year Joint Action Plan aimed at reducing grizzly bear mortality on the rail line in Banff and Yoho national parks. While a reduction in grizzly mortalities within Banff and Yoho national parks has been observed since the start of this joint research initiative, this research shows there is no simple solution to this issue.

By working collaboratively since the launch of this initiative, Parks Canada, CP, and research teams from the Universities of Alberta and Calgary learned about the complex factors that influence grizzly bear behaviour along the rail line in Banff and Yoho national parks.

Between 2010 and 2015, at any given time, a minimum of 11-13 grizzly bears with GPS radio-collars were being tracked by researchers. The data collected showed specialists where, when and sometimes why bears were using the railway. Based on the recommendations from the research initiative and in keeping with the Canada National Parks Act and Banff and Yoho Park Management Plans, Parks Canada and CP will implement measures on and off the railway to help reduce the risk of grizzly bear train collisions including the use of prescribed fire, development of alternative travel routes for bears, targeted vegetation management, and a pilot exclusion fencing program near railway greasing stations.

The results of the research and subsequent action from CP and Parks Canada will reduce the likelihood of bear-train collisions and further protect this iconic species for present and future generations.

Quotes

"Our Government is committed to protecting and preserving our national parks and its wildlife. This unique collaboration between Canadian Pacific and Parks Canada allows us to use the best available science to help reduce railway-related risks posed to grizzly bears. These efforts in conservation will insure that bears and people can continue to successfully share the iconic landscape of Banff and Yoho national parks for generations to come."

The Honourable Catherine McKenna Minister of Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

"CP has a proud history of working closely with Parks Canada in protecting our national parks. The results of this five-year partnership will help CP and other stakeholders make decisions that ensure the on-going health of the grizzly bear population while continuing to meet the needs of the North American economy. CP is pleased to have taken a leadership role on this initiative, the results of which will also assist other railways in better managing their own relationships with wildlife."

Glen Wilson, Assistant Vice-President Environmental Risk, CP

Quick Facts

  • Parks Canada is a recognized world leader in conservation and manages one of the finest and most extensive systems of protected natural and cultural heritage areas in the world.
  • In 1883, three CP railway construction workers stumbled across a cave containing hot springs on the eastern slopes of Alberta's Rocky Mountains and from that humble beginning Banff National Park was born.
  • Banff and Yoho national parks are Canada's first and second national parks. Both are part of the larger Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site – one of the largest contiguous protected areas in the world.
  • Over the past decade, there have been 10 confirmed rail-caused grizzly mortalities in Banff and Yoho national parks. Though we can never fully eliminate the risk of a wildlife mortality along the railway, we believe we can help reduce this risk by piloting targeted science-based mitigations.
  • CP's biodiversity strategy is based on prevention, research and remediation.

Associated Document

Backgrounder: ​Banff-Yoho-NP-Grizzly-Bear-Initiative-with-CP.docx

Related Link​

http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/mtn/ours-bears/conservation/cp.aspx

 Contacts

Parks Canada Agency
Media Relations 
855-862-1812
pc.media@pc.gc.ca

CP
Jeremy Berry
Director of Media Relations
403-319- 6227
Jeremy_Berry@cpr.ca

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