What's a Woodland caribou?
This large, shy cousin to the better-known reindeer and migratory tundra caribou lives in Canada's Boreal forest, and doesn't migrate.
Where do they live?
Woodland caribou, a forest-dwelling type of caribou, were once found nearly everywhere there were forests in northern North America, from Prince Edward Island and Maine on the Atlantic coast, as far south as Algonquin Park in Ontario, and as far west as the Pacific islands of Haida Gwaii. Woodland caribou live in the Boreal forest. This rich landscape traps carbon and keeps it out of the atmosphere, slowing the pace of climate change. Protecting the Boreal forest protects caribou -- and us. Deep reductions in fossil fuel emissions are a big part of the climate change puzzle.
Over the past 100 years, their habitat has shrunk dramatically. Today, Woodland caribou are mostly confined to Canada's northern Boreal Forest.
Why do Woodland caribou matter?
These caribou live in Canada's Boreal forest. The Boreal stores more than 186 billion tons of carbon - 27 years' worth of global carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels! When we protect caribou habitat, we take a big step in combatting climate change.
Why are they threatened?
As development continues to sprawl further north, Woodland caribou are disappearing from the Boreal forest. Logging, road-building and other forms of development such as mining and oil and gas development, are driving the caribou's decline.
Woodland caribou are disappearing
Woodland caribou herds have declined significantly in the last 100 years. Several herds have disappeared completely. Evidence suggests the majority of these herds will go extinct without conservation action.
Protecting caribou habitat can also help fight climate change:
• by providing a home for wildlife.
Scientists estimate 20-30% of species worldwide are threatened by climate change. Many species are flleing northward to escape a warming planet.
• by storing greenhouse gases.
Canada's intact Boreal Forest is one of the world's largest storehouse of land-based carbon. Our Boreal stores more than 186 billion tons of carbon - 27 years' worth of global carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels! But when the Boreal Forest is developed or logged, its ability to absorb and store carbon is lost or reduced, and carbon is released to the atmosphere.
Report on caribou situation across Canada, published by CPAWS in december 2013.
CPAWS’ Assessment and Recommendations for Proposed Boreal Woodland Caribou Recovery Strategy under the Federal Species At-Risk Act.