Environment Canada has issued an emergency protection order that will limit construction activity and loud industrial noise near the habitat of an endangered bird species.
The greater sage-grouse is a shy bird that lives in southeastern Alberta and Saskatchewan.
There are fewer than 150 adult birds left in Canada, and environmentalists believe the species could be extirpated (locally extinct) within five years unless it is protected.
The birds’ natural habitat is long prairie grass, but much of this grassland has been destroyed by agriculture and oil and gas development over the past hundred years.
In December 2013, Environment Canada – the government department responsible for the environment – issued an order that prohibits any activity that would disrupt the birds’ habitat during the spring mating season.