The mountain caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) is red listed (endangered) in B.C. Ninety-eight percent of the world?s 2,500 mountain caribou live in the province. Unless certain factors are reversed, there is a real danger of them facing extinction.
Range through the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia and Alberta, from the Peace River south to Jasper National Park; and in the Cariboo, Monashee, Selkirk and Purcell Mountains of British Columbia. There is one small subpopulation in the South Selkirk Mountains that moves between B.C. and northern Idaho and Washington.
Distinct populations throughout the mountainous areas of the Columbia Basin.
They are a unique ecotype of caribou distinguished from other woodland caribou by their winter diet consisting almost exclusively of arboreal (tree) lichens. This trait allows them to inhabit the deep snow wet belt of the Columbia Basin where arboreal lichens are abundant on older trees. Caribou move seasonally to lower elevations, but only to reach green vegetation in spring and again in early winter when snow at higher elevations has yet to consolidate, making it difficult for animals to move efficiently or to reach arboreal lichens.
Polygynous mating system with harems of up to 12. The rut extends from late September to mid-late October. Gestation is about 230 days, with calves typically born in late May through early June.
Listing and Date
Threats to Species
Full Report Listing (most recent on top)
For more information on this species, visit: The Species at Risk Public Registry , The BC Species and Ecosystem Explorer (where you should enter "caribou" in the species Name field) or the provincial Mountain Caribou Recovery program.