Mountain Caribou

Mountain caribou are one of the most endangered mammals in North America. All of the world’s remaining mountain caribou live in the mountains of British Columbia and Alberta and parts of Washington and Idaho. 

The globally unique mountain caribou is a variety of woodland caribou that has adapted to the special conditions of BC’s wet, mountainous forests. Mountain caribou migrate up and down the mountainsides, from the valley floors in spring and fall to the high forests in winter and summer. In winter, when other food is buried, they stand with large snowshoe-like feet on top of the snow to feed on the lichens that grow on branches and canopies of old-growth trees.

Mountain caribou - David Dodge

INDICATORS

Mountain caribou require unbroken tracts of old-growth forest for food and for security from predators. Because of this tight link, mountain caribou are considered indicators of the ecological integrity of these old-growth forests.

AT A LOSS

Southern mountain caribou numbers in BC’s interior temperate rainforest have been steadily declining, from approximately 2200 in the late 1990s to approximately 1200 today, mostly due to human-caused habitat changes. What may have once been a single, large mountain caribou population is today fragmented into as many as 18 subpopulations with little or no interaction. We know that small, disconnected populations are much more prone to extinction. The current number of individuals in our locals southern herds are devastating three in the South Selkirks and four in the South Purcells.

WHAT WE’RE DOING

We represented the mountain caribou in the federal courts in 2012. Part of a larger Species at Risk Act case, the courts ruled that the federal government was not doing enough to protect at risk species like the mountain caribou and ruled that they must do more. The Mountain Caribou Recovery Team continues to work towards recovery for this magical creature.

Find out more by reading the Mountain Caribou Education Booklet.

 

 


Mountain Caribou News

Deep in the heart of BC’s Inland Temperate Rainforest, chainsaws are cutting irreplaceable and globally unique stands of ancient cedar-hemlock forests. The trees…Read More 
Dr. Rob Serrouya has spent his career studying caribou and the ecosystems which have supported caribou for millenia. But things are rapidly changing for caribou…Read More 
A new scientific paper, Habitat loss accelerates for the endangered woodland caribou in western Canada, released by some of North America’s preeminent caribou researchers…Read More 
Please find enclosed a s.80 Request under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) for an emergency order to stop logging in Federally identified critical…Read More 
Current legislation in British Columbia does not prioritize species at risk such as caribou, nor protect biodiversity and functional ecosystems. Land use continues to be driven by outdated legislation designed to get logs to sawmills, and coal and minerals to market.Read More 
Government planned to log untouched old growth in Argonaut Creek, deep in the Inland Temperate Rainforest north of Revelstoke. But more than a thousand people spoke up and they cancelled most — but not all — of their logging plans.Read More 
Read More News

Join The Team

Want to protect wildlife, clean water and wild spaces? Volunteer with us! Wildsight volunteers are a very special group of people who give generously of their time to stuff envelopes, attend rallies, help run events, put up posters, keep tabs on forestry practices in their communities and participate in citizen science initiatives.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES