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Woodland Caribou (Rangifer Tarandus Caribou)


Financial support was received from the Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada and World Wildlife Fund Canada. Co-ordination was by Marco Festa-Bianchet, chair of COSEWIC and the terrestrial mammals subcommittee. Ruben Boles, COSEWIC Secretariat, prepared the digital maps. Bruce Petersen provided support and gave encouragement to D.G. during a first draft of this report. David Taylor entered products from jurisdictions into a GIS at the NWT Centre for Remote Sensing in Yellowknife. Frank Miller, Marco Festa-Bianchet, Mark Brigham, Tara Szkorupa, Dave Hervieux, and Suzanne Carrière reviewed earlier drafts and provided useful comments. The report depended on information and assistance from the following people.

Marco Festa-Bianchet, Département de biologie, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec J1K 2R1.

Richard Farnell, Caribou Biologist, Department of Renewable Resources, Fish and Wildlife Branch, Box 2703, Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6.

Loralee Laberge, Caribou Technician, Box 2703, Whitehorse, YT Y1A 2C6.

Anne Gunn, Wildlife, Resources & Economic Development, Government of the Northwest Territories, 600, 5102-50th Avenue, Yellowknife. NT.  X1A 3S8.

David E. Taylor, Systems Specialist, NWT Centre for Remote Sensing, Government of the Northwest Territories, 600, 5102-50th Avenue, Yellowknife. NWT. X1A 3S8.

Ian Hatter, Ungulate Specialist, Wildlife Branch, Ministry of Environment, Lands & Parks, Box 9344 Stn. Prov. Gov’t, Victoria, B.C. V8W 9M1.

David Nagorsen, Royal British Columbia Museum. Box 9815 Stn. Prov. Gov., Victoria, B.C. V8W 9W2.

James Quayle, RPBio, Wildlife Biologist (Ungulates at Risk), Wildlife Branch, Ministry of Environment, Lands & Parks, Box 9344 Stn. Prov. Gov’t, Victoria, B.C. V8W 9M1.

Dave Hervieux, Area Wildlife Biologist, Alberta Environment, 1701-10320 – 99 Street, Grande Prairie, AB. T8V 6J4.

Lisa Szkorupa, Endangered Species Biologist, Alberta Environment, #1701 Provincial Building 10320-99 Street, Grande Prairie, AB. T8V 6J4.

Elston Dzus, Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc., Box 8000, Boyle, AB. T0A 0M0.

Earl Wiltse, Provincial Species at Risk Specialist, Fish and Wildlife Branch, Saskatchewan Environment & Resource Management, 3211 Albert Street, Regina, SK. S4S 5W6.

Al Arsenault, Wildlife Population Biologist, Saskatchewan Environment & Resource Management, Fish and Wildlife Branch, 112 Research Drive, Saskatoon, SK. S7K 2H6.

Tim Trottier, Saskatchewan Environment and Resource Management, Box 5000, La Ronge, SK. S0J 1L0.

Dr. James R. Duncan, Acting Chief, Biodiversity Conservation Section, Wildlife Branch, Manitoba Conservation, Box 24, 200 Saulteaux Crescent, Winnipeg, MB. R3J 3W3.

Cam Elliott, Wildlife Branch, Box 28, 59 Elizabeth Drive, Thompson, MB. R8N 1X4.

Ted Armstrong, Regional Wildlife Biologist, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, 435 James Street S., Suite 221, Thunder Bay, ON. P7E 6S8.

Jim Rettie, Northeast Science and Information Section, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, H’Way 101 East, PO Bag 3020, South Porcupine, ON. P0N 1H0.

Michel Crête, Société de la faune et des parcs du Quebec, 675, boul. René-Lévesque Est. (CP92) Québec, QC. G1R 5V7.

Gilles Lamontagne, Direction du Développement, Société de la Faune et des Parcs du Quebec.

Robert Otto, Senior Wildlife Biologist – Labrador, Inland Fish and Wildlife Division, Box 3014, Station “B,” Goose Bay, NF. A0P 1E0.

Christine Doucet, Senior Wildlife Biologist, Research and Inventories, St. Johns, NF.

Pat Valkenburg, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 1300 College Road, Fairbanks, AK. 99701.

Tony Iacobelli, M.Sc. Senior Manager, LC&P, WWF-Canada, 245 Eglinton Ave. E. Suite 410, Toronto, ON. M4P 3J1.

Judith Eger, Senior Curator of Mammals, Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, Toronto, ON.  M5S 2C6.

Bruce Peterson, Chair, Land Use Committee, Environment North, 704 Holly Crescent, Thunder Bay, ON. P7E 2T2.

Biographical Summary of Authors

Donald C. Thomas

Don was born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, and spent his early years on a farm. From 1958 through 1962, summers were spent assisting biologists of the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS). Most of that work was on barren-ground caribou but it also included a survey of wildlife on the Queen Elizabeth Islands. In 1962, he completed an Honours BA in Biology at the University of Saskatchewan under direction of Dr. Donald Rawson. His Ph.D. was on reproduction in black-tailed deer at the University of British Columbia as directed by Ian McTaggart Cowan. While at UBC, he did contract work for CWS involving aerial surveys of the large mainland populations of caribou and on age determination of wolves and bears. After a Post-Doctorate at Cambridge University (UK) with Sir Richard Harrison, head of the Anatomy Department, he was briefly a consultant for F.F. Slaney and Co. before taking a permanent position with CWS in 1982.

His research with CWS involved Peary, barren-ground, and woodland caribou and their habitats from the High Arctic Islands to Jasper and Prince Albert National Parks. Two of those studies involved the effects of forest fires on caribou and their habitat. He served as Environment Canada’s representative on the Beverly and Qamanirjuak Caribou Management Board from 1987 through 1999. In 2000, he received the Centenary Medal for northern science from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. After semi-retirement in 1998, he has continued to write reports and publications when not travelling.

David R. Gray

A researcher and writer, with 30 years’ experience in arctic science, David Gray completed a PhD at the University of Alberta in 1973 on the behaviour and ecology of muskoxen. Between 1973 and 1994 he conducted research in Canada's High Arctic on the behaviour of muskoxen, arctic hare, arctic wolves, and red-throated loons for the Canadian Museum of Nature. In conjunction with studies of wolves and muskoxen he also studied the ecology of Peary caribou. Dave has been an independent researcher and consultant since 1994. He has prepared research reports on the Peary caribou and birds of prey of Bathurst Island for DIAND and Parks Canada, completed studies for Parks Canada on the ecological resources of northern Ellesmere Island, the wolves of Alert, and the human and natural history of northern Bathurst Island. He has also made revisions to the vegetation map of Ellesmere Island National Park Reserve and prepared an environmental assessment of an abandoned camp on Ellesmere Island.

David has also completed major reports on the natural and cultural resources of Ellesmere Island National Park Reserve, Aulavik National Park, and Vuntut National Park for Parks Canada. He also wrote a commemorative book, Alert, Beyond the Inuit Lands, on the human and natural history of Canadian Forces Station Alert for DND. David is a Research Associate at both the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Canadian Museum of Nature and was elected as a Fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America in 1991.