The Boreal Deal - A new era of joint leadership in the boreal forest

Theme: A threatened species

Caribou inhabit Canada’s undisturbed forests and wetlands. As far back as 13,000 years ago, caribou, or xalibu (Mi’kmaq for “the one who paws” or “snow-shoveller”), were hunted in the Yukon and remain an important part of aboriginal culture.

While caribou are abundant in Canada, certain subspecies now roam the nation’s forests like ghosts, as habitat destruction and predators threaten their numbers. In 2000, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada identified the boreal population of woodland caribou as a threatened species, one that is likely to become endangered if nothing is done to address the factors limiting their survival.

Ranging throughout the boreal forest, across nine provinces and territories, the boreal woodland caribou favour old-growth forest for sustenance and protection against predators, including bears, lynx and wolves. However, large portions of these woods are being altered or lost to industrial development, including forestry operations, mining developments and oil exploration.

Protection for species at risk

Protecting the boreal woodland caribou is specifically outlined in the goals and commitments of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement.

As one of the Agreement’s first conservation efforts to restore the boreal caribou population, the 21 signatory forest-products companies have suspended logging and road building on nearly 29 million hectares — almost all the woodland caribou’s range within the boreal forest tenures.

For more information, visit

COSEWIC, Woodland caribou, boreal population
Future of forestry, Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement: Goals

Photos

Boreal woodland caribou favour old-growth forests as a food source and for protection against predators. © Boreal Songbird Initiative
Boreal woodland caribou favour old-growth forests as a food source and for protection against predators.
© Boreal Songbird Initiative