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      CARIBOU (WOODLAND CARIBOU)
      Rangifer tarandus caribou


"From University of Alberta Website"
The Woodland caribou
species (Rangifer tarandus caribou), in Alberta and across Canada, is listed as threatened.

According to University of Alberta (Edmonton) there are 18 woodland caribou herds in Alberta. The university as studied 4 herds in west-central Alberta: Little Smoky, A la Peche, RedRock-Prairie Creek, and Narraway herds. We have studied wolves in the ranges of the Little Smoky and RedRock-Priarie Creek herds.
   

Caribou Ecotypes: There are 2 ecotypes of caribou in west-central Alberta: boreal and mountain. The mountain ecotype is restricted to western Alberta whereas the boreal ecotype is found throughout northern Alberta. The mountain and boreal ecotypes differ primarily in their migratory habits. In west-central Alberta, both ecotypes inhabit forested foothills during the winter. However, in the spring, mountain caribou migrate into the mountains of Alberta and British Columbia while the boreal caribou do not.

Herd Status: At present,the Little Smoky herd is listed at risk of extirpation, the A la Peche and RedRock Prairie Creek herds are stable, and the status of the Narraway herd is not known.
 

 Reasons for Decline: Conflicts with land use practices, landscape change, and predation are factors for the decline of caribou. Caribou are part of a complex predator-prey system. It is theorized that human activity has disrupted the balance of this system placing caribou at a higher risk of predation. The presence of human activity and infrastructure may also negatively impact caribou by altering their behaviour. The loss of old-growth habitat due to industrial expansion is another contributing factor. Caribou are dependent upon the lichens of old-growth forests for winter forage. A decline in the availability of lichens may compromise the health and viability of a caribou herd. There are several land use practices within the ranges of the RPC, ALP, and LSM herds. These include timber harvesting, extensive oil and gas exploration and production, coal mining, roads, recreational off-road vehicle use, recreational hunting, and commercial trapping. The range of the Narraway Herd is relatively pristine; however, oil and gas exploration, mining exploration, and logging development is increasing.

CARIBOU
The Alberta government banned logging for one year on a range
used by endangered caribou northeast of Jasper National Park.

The area around MEDICINE  LAKE near Jasper is known to be visited by Caribou.
 

Athabasca Falls     EDITH CAVELL VALLEY

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