Published on : Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Twelve caribou and nine newly born (two to nine weeks old) calves have been released from their maternity pen near Revelstoke, as a multi-party project aimed at increasing the number of endangered mountain caribou in the Columbia North herd.
The maternal penning project was designed to increase newly born caribou survival. Nine pregnant caribou cows were captured in March and given a safe place to gestate and give birth to the calves.
One non-pregnant cow and two caribou near-yearlings were also captured at that time.
Shepherds from the Okanagan Indian Band, Splatsin First Nation and two local retired professionals tended to the caribou during their period in the maternal pen.
Once the calves were large and mobile enough to better survive predator attacks, they were released back into the wild. The caribou and their calves are moving back to their natural alpine habitat at more than 1,700 metres above sea level.
There are currently 124 caribou in the Columbia North herd and the goal is to increase the population to a self-sustaining population of 250 caribou.
The project was conducted by the Revelstoke Caribou Rearing in the Wild Society (RCRW), an organization dedicated to the conservation and recovery of Southern Mountain caribou in the Columbia Mountains region.
RCRW is a community-based partnership, consisting of a cross representation of individuals and organizations including: Parks Canada, the Province of B.C., the Columbia Mountains Caribou Research Project, the Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation, the North Columbia Environmental Society, the Revelstoke Snowmobile Club, Mica Heli Guides and First Nations.
The released caribou have been radio-collared and their success will be monitored to help inform future maternal penning and other recovery efforts.
Tags: caribou, Revelstoke