Woodland Caribou

Rangifer tarandus

Caribou in British Columbia, though diverse, are all classified as woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus). Caribou are actually what many people recognize as “reindeer”. The caribou in British Columbia have been divided into three distinct ecotypes depending on their behaviour and feeding strategies: mountain, northern and boreal. All three ecotypes appear to be in decline, and the caribou are facing the adverse impacts resulting from land degradation and climate change.

Characteristics

Caribou are medium-sized members of the Cervidae (deer) family, being larger than mule deer, but smaller than elk and moose. They are medium-brown in colour, and get pale and greyer during the winter as their guard hairs moult. In the winter, these guard hairs insulate body heat as they are hollow and trap air inside them…

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