Woodland Caribou (Rangifer Tarandus Caribou)
- Assessment Summary
- Executive Summary
- COSEWIC Mandate, Membership and Definitions
- Lists of Figures, Tables and Appendices
- Species Information
- Population Sizes and Trends
- Limiting Factors and Threats
- Special Significance of the Populations
- Existing Protection or Other Status
- Summary of Status Report
- Technical Summary
- Acknowledgements and Biographical Summary of Authors
- Authorities Consulted, Collections Examined and Literature Cited
(In addition to those in Acknowledgements)
M. Crête, Ministère du Loisir, de la Chasse et de la Pêche, Service de la Faune terrestre, Governement du Quebec, Québec.
Cam Elliott, Wildlife Manager, Northeast Region, Manitoba Conservation, Thompson, Manitoba.
Janet Ficht, Natural Resources Service, Alberta Department of Natural Protection, Edson, Alberta.
Doug Heard, Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, Prince George, B.C.
Michel Huot, Ministère de l'environment et de la faune, Governement du Québec, Quebec.
James Kushny, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.
Ron Larche, Wildlife Branch, Government of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Tom Reimchen, Department of Biology, University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C.
|COSEWIC population||Stated number1||Rounded number||Stated confidence2||Sources3|
|Northern Mountain||41 550-46 550||44 000||Moderate||R. Farnell, I. Hatter, & J. Quayle|
|Southern Mountain||7 187-7 227||7 200||Moderate-high||I. Hatter & D. Hervieux|
|Boreal||31 122-34 807||33 000||Low-moderate||Boreal sources below|
|Newfoundland (Isl.)||100 000||100 000||Moderate-high||Doucet p.c. 2000|
|Atlantic (Gaspésie)||200||200||High||Ouellet et al. 1996|
1 Totals as provided by jurisdictional biologists generally are for adults and calves in winter. Those estimates typically have confidence limits of 20-50% and some are guesses. They are rounded in the text.
2 This is a general term as expressed by representatives and has no statistical quantification.
3 Personal communication and other sources: Rick Farnell, Yukon 2001; Ian Hatter and James Quayle B.C., 2000, Hatter 2000. Boreal sources: Anne Gunn, NWT 2001; David Hervieux & Tara Szkorupa, Alberta 2000 (compilers of 18 sources); Earl Wilste, Saskatchewan 2000 & Godwin and Thorpe 1999; David Duncan, Ken Rebizant, and Cam Elliott, Manitoba 2000; Ted Armstrong, Ontario 2000 & Harris 1998; Robert Otto, Newfoundland–Labrador 2000; Christine Doucet, Newfoundland (Island). More details are in Acknowledgements.
|Northern Mountain||YT/NWT||15 550 Guess||21 550-26 550|
|26 742-35 482|
|28 850-34 350|
|32 150-37 150|
|B.C.||8 000||3 285|
|9 770-10 270||10 300-11 000|
|N. MTN.||Total||23 550||24 835-29 835|
|36 512-45 752||39 150-45 350|
|41 550-46 550|
|Southern Mountain||B.C.||2 565||3 285|
|3 295-3 405||6 259-6 709|
|Total||3 065||6: 1/3/2/0||3 595-3 805||6 859-7 459|
|Mean 7 208|
|Boreal||NWT||3 000 (?)||2 000-5 000||Unknown||4 000-6 400|
|Alta||1 000-3 000||NA|
|2 700-3 100||3 000-5 995|
|Sask.||2 500||2 500|
|2 500||2 500 (1984)|
|Man.||3 360||5 000|
|1 400-2 500|
(2 000 – 2500)
|2 000-3 000|
|8 400 incl.taiga|
|6 012-6 702|
|3 457 excl. Hudson Plain||5 000|
Gen. + 6 relic
|Que.||8 100||8 197-9 337|
|6 280-18 330||<10 000 + 3 relic (40-200)||<10 000|
Gen. + 2 relic
|1 780-1 920|
|2 650-3 100|
|14:3/6/4/1||21 575-24 570||31 000-35 000|
|Newfoundland (Isl.)||Newf.||21 950||23 100-44 000|
|61 400-64 640|
|80 000||100 000|
In each cell, numbers are in the top row and number of local populations and trend (increasing/stable/ decreasing/unknown), as reported by jurisdictions, are in the second row.
1 Bergerud 1978, 1980; Kelsall 1984. Kelsall provided estimates for boreal Quebec of 8100 (range 5276 to 8493). Includes Mealy Mountain, Red Wine Mountain, and White Bear populations in southern Taiga of Labrador.
2 Williams and Heard 1986. Data mainly from 1980-1984. Includes Mealy Mountain and Red Wine Mountain populations in southern Taiga of Labrador. Half of estimate for Lac Joseph population assigned to each of Quebec and Labrador.
3 Ferguson and Gauthier 1992. Data mostly from 1986-1990. Includes Mealy Mountain & Red Wine Mountain po. in southern Taiga of Labrador. Half of estimate for Lac Joseph population assigned to each of Quebec and Labrador.
4 Farnell et al. 1998, Heard and Vagt 1998, Edmonds 1998, Rettie et al. 1998, Larche 1996, Couturier 1996, Cumming 1998 (data mostly from 1994-96. Numbers reported for 12 districts in Ontario).
5 Reports from jurisdictions for this report (see Table 1).
6 Two in stable category were listed as stable-decreasing.
7 After subtracting numbers for local populations common to two jurisdictions.
8 Includes 21 pop. in SK (see Distribution) of which 5 were considered to be slowly decreasing (Rettie & Messier 1998).
Note: Trend, as reported by jurisdictions. Standard criteria are needed.
|Trend in numbers1||Northern Mountain||Southern Mountain||Boreal except ON & QC2||Newfoundland (Island)|
1 Trend as reported by jurisdictions. Data common to two jurisdictions subtracted. Standard criteria are needed.
2 No data for local populations in Ontario (ON) and Quebec (QC). Saskatchewan reported the status of caribou in 3 ecoregions. Subsequently, 18 local populations were mapped (Godwin and Thorpe 1999) of which 5 were slowly decreasing (Rettie and Messier 1998) and 7 regional groups of caribou (metapopulations?) were mapped (Arsenault pers. comm. 2001). When maps are combined, there are 21 distributions.
3 Two populations in the stable category were listed as stable-decreasing.
4 Includes 21 pop. in SK (Table 2) of which 5 were considered to be slowly decreasing (Rettie & Messier 1998).
|Number of caribou||Northern Mountain||Southern Mountain||Boreal except ON & QC2||Newfoundland (Island)|
|51 – 100||0||41||7||2|
|101 – 250||9||9||7||1|
|251 – 500||7||7||7||3|
|501 – 1000||9||1||2||5|
1 Subtracting one for common Belcourt/Narraway (n =100) and excluding Little Smoky (Boreal population).
2 No data for local populations in Ontario (ON) and Quebec (QC).
|Range area (km2)||Northern Mountain||Southern Mountain||Boreal except ON & QC1||Newfoundland (Island)|
|< 1 000||0||3||1||14|
|1 001 – 2 000||3||7||1||3|
|2 001 – 5 000||9||92||8||5|
|5 001 – 10 000||7||7||3||3|
|10 000 – 20 000||10||4||9||1|
1 No data for local populations in Ontario (ON) and Quebec (QC).
2 Belcourt/Narraway one population of area 2045 km2.
Note: Some range sizes are not known and some totals are less than number of local populations.
|COSEWIC population||Jurisdiction||Mean (no. of local populations)||Range of densities|
(per 100 km2)
|Northern Mountain||YT/NWT||12.0 (18)||3.0 – 26.9||R. Farnell pers.comm. 2002|
|B.C.||10.0 (16)||3.0 – 24.2||I. Hatter pers. comm. 2002|
|Southern Mountain||B.C.||WC: 8.3 (5)||1.9 - 21.1||I. Hatter pers. comm. 2002|
|NC: 5.9 (8)||1.6 – 14.1|
|S: 3.0 (13)||0.3 - 15.1|
|All: 7.0 (26)||0.3 – 21.1|
|AB||Low estim: 9.4 (5)||4.0 – 16.4||D. Hervieux & T. Szkorupa pers. comm. 2000|
|High estim: 9.9 (5)||6.7 – 16.4|
|Boreal||NWT||0.9 – 1.5 (2)||1 – 3||A. Gunn pers. comm. 2001|
|B.C.||1.4 (1)||I. Hatter pers. comm. 2000|
|AB||3.3 (12)||1.8 – 13.1||D. Hervieux p.c. 2000|
|SK||1.8 (3 ecoregions)||0.6, 0.7, & 3.5||Gdwin & Thorpe 2000|
|MB||1.1– 1.8 (13)||0.5 – 4.3||Rebizant et al. 2000|
|NF, LABR.||1.3 (3)||0.4 – 1.3||R. Otto pers. comm. 2000|
|Atlantic (Gaspésie)||QC||20 – 25 (1)||Ouellet et al. 1996|
|NF (Island)||NF||150 (26)||11 – 634||C. Doucet pers. comm. 2000|
|Threat or concern1||Northern Mountain||Southern Mountain||Boreal excl. ON & QC2||Newfoundland (Island)|
|Access & disturbance||43||94||65||82|
|Forestry & other dev.||35||90||62||56|
1 Concern rated as high or medium by jurisdiction biologists.
2 No data for local populations in Ontario (ON) and Quebec (QC).
|Data type||Northern Mountain||Southern Mountain||Boreal population2|
|Ad. Sex ratio||38||41||21||29||39||32||18||23||59|
1 Movements monitored with radio collars.
2 No data for local populations in Ontario and Quebec.
|Northern Mountain||Yukon: Some closed and some permit hunts||Farnell p.c. 2001|
|B.C.: Limited for some populations||Hatter p.c. 2002|
|Southern Mountain||B.C.: A few adult bulls permitted from large populations. Southern metapopulation closed in 2001.||Hatter (pers. comm. 2002)|
|Alberta: closed in 1981||Edmonds 1988|
|Boreal||B.C.: No recreational hunt.|
|NWT: Hunting by holders of General Hunting Licence|
|Alberta: closed in 1981||Edmonds 1988|
|Saskatchewan: closed 1947-61; 1987 – present||Rock 1992|
|Manitoba: closed 1947-67; 1992 – present||Johnson 1993|
|Ontario: closed in 1942||Darby et al. 1989|
|Quebec: Limited sport hunt in parts of range||Hunting regulations|
|Newfoundland||Hunting is main management tool to stabilize local populations. Non-residents can hunt with guide.||Mahoney 2000|
|Closed in 1937||Boileau 1996|
|Closed in early 1940s||Crête et al. 1994|
|Closed in 1949||Ouellet et al. 1996|
|COSEWIC NEA/Pop.||COSEWIC 2002||Provincial/territorial1||Provincial colour listing2||The Nature Conservancy3|
|S list||G list|
|Northern Mountain||Special concern||None||B.C.: Blue||B.C.: S3S4||G5T4|
|Southern Mountain||Threatened||B.C.: Southern metapop. Red1||B.C.: S2||B.C.: G5T2Q|
|Alberta: Threatened||AB: Blue 19962||AB: S2||AB: G5T4|
|Boreal||Threatened||NT: Sensitive||B.C.: Blue||B.C.: S3||B.C.: G5T?|
|ON: S3S4?||ON: G5(’96)|
|LB: S2S3||LB: G5T4|
|AB: threatened 1985||AB: Blue 19962|
|Newfoundland||Not at risk||NF: S5||NF: G5|
1 Alberta Wildlife Act: Threatened - A species that is likely to become endangered if the factors causing its vulnerability are not reversed.
2 Alberta Colour lists: Red: current knowledge suggests that these species are at risk. These species have declined, or are in immediate danger of declining to a nonviable population. Blue: current knowledge suggests that these species may be at risk. These species have undergone non-cyclic declines in population or habitat, or reductions in provincial distribution.
3 Nature Conservancy, The 2001 (Canada): <http://www.natureconservancy.ca>:
The Nature Conservancy, USA (Association for Biodiversity Information): http://www.abi.org
Natural Heritage Network Directory (international): <http://www.abi.org/networkdirectory.htm>
Natural Heritage Network Directory (Canada): http://www.abi-canada.ca/english/map.htm
Natural Heritage Element Rarity Ranks (after The Nature Conservancy 2001)
G1/S1: Critically Imperiled: Critically imperiled globally because of extreme rarity or because of some factor(s) making it especially vulnerable to extinction. Typically 5 or fewer occurrences or very few remaining individuals (<1000) or acres (<2000) (<809 ha), or linear miles (<10) (<16 km).
G2/S2: Imperiled: Imperiled globally because of rarity or because of some factor(s) making it very vulnerable to extinction or elimination. Typically 6 - 20 occurrences or few-remaining individuals (1 000 - 3 000) or acres (2 000 - 10 000) (809 - 4047 ha), or linear miles (10 to 50) (16-80 km).
G3/S3 Vulnerable. Vulnerable globally either because very rare and local throughout its range, found only in restricted range (even if abundant at some locations), or because of other factors making it vulnerable to extinction or elimination. Typically 21 - 100 occurrences or 3 000 - 10 000 individuals.
G4/S4: Apparently Secure. Uncommon but not rare (although it may be rare in parts of its range, particularly on the periphery), and usually widespread. Apparently not vulnerable in most of its range, but possibly cause for long-term concern. Typically >100 occurrences & more than 10 000 individuals.
T = infraspecific taxon (subspecies or variety), X = extirpated, Q = questionable taxonomy.
|Population name||1984 status||1995 renaming||2000 (May)||2002 (May)|
|Pacific (Haida Gwaii)||Extinct||Extinct||Extinct||Extinct|
|Northern Mountain1||Rare||Vulnerable||Not at risk||Special concern|
|Boreal1||Rare (Western)||Vulnerable (Western)||Threatened||Threatened|
|Newfoundland||Not at risk||Not at risk||Not at risk||Not at risk|
1 The Northern and Southern Mountain populations were not recognized until May 2000.
Formerly they were part the western Boreal population in 1984 (Kelsall 1984).
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