Caribou are an iconic species, with cultural importance to many Indigenous Nations, and featured on Canada’s 25-cent coin.

Boreal woodland caribou, cousins of the European reindeer, make their home in the boreal forests of nine provinces and territories. These caribou depend on intact forests and travel much shorter distances than their northern cousins the barren-ground caribou.

Moving through boreal forests, woodland caribou are a sign of intact and healthy wilderness as they are incredibly sensitive to disturbances like roads and clearings. Along with losing food and shelter, disturbances through the forest allow wolves to more easily travel and hunt increasing predation on caribou. Every bit of forest we permanently remove or degrade for industrial activities is a piece of forest that caribou can no longer call home and another kink in the system further altering predator and prey dynamics. 

Half of woodland caribou’s habitat has disappeared in the last 50 years alone due to development and the species is now largely confined to areas of northern boreal forest.

But, the system isn’t broken just yet. We can turn this around for caribou. However, the clock is ticking and so far all levels of government have delayed in standing up to industry and doing what is needed to save this keystone species, and the carbon-storing boreal forest and peatlands that sustain them.

Wilderness Committee works to pressure both the federal and provincial governments to stop wavering and take real action to ensure critical habitat for caribou is protected. 

A timeline for woodland caribou protection illustrates their inaction


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