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Woodland Caribou (Rangifer Tarandus Caribou)


Appendix 1a: Estimates of Numbers and Trends to 2001 for Forest-dwelling Woodland Caribou in the COSEWIC Northern Mountain Population

Local population nameProv./Terr. & Ref. no.Pop.
SurveyYearTrend in nos.1Range
100 km2
Conf. in estimate3
AishikikYT 201 5001998Increase16 1199.3SRQHigh
AtlinYT14/BC8001999Stable5 99913.3Extr.Mod.
Bonnet Pl.YT3/NT5 0001982Unknown18 61426.9GUnkn.
CarcrossYT16/BC4501997Increase13 4193.4SRQHigh
ChisanaYT 224002000Decrease13 0003.1Extr.High
Clear CreekYT 29002001Stable4 87318.5SRQHigh
Coal RiverYT 10/NT8001996Unknown  Extr.Mod.
Ethyl LakeYT 43001993Stable3 9617.6SRQHigh
FinlaysonYT 84 1001999Stable24 73316.6SRQHigh
Hart RiverYT 11 2001978Stable17 4786.9TCLow
IbexYT 154001998Unknown1 97920.2SRQHigh
KlazaYT 196002000Increase7 0898.5TCMod.
KluaneYT 212001999Decrease6 5953.0TCMod.
La BicheYT 11/NT4001993Unknown  GUnkn.
L. RancheriaYT12/BC1 0001999Increase4 13424.2SRQMod.
Moose LakeYT 52001991Stable1 02219.6SRQHigh
NahanniYT 92 0001996Unknown16 00012.5Extr.Mod.
Pelly herdsYT 171 0002001Unknown  GUnkn.
Redstone4YT 7/NT7 5001982Unknown  GLow
TatchunYT 185002000Stable7 0917.1TCHigh
Tay RiverYT 64 0001991Stable25 14815.9SRQHigh
Wolf LakeYT 131 4001998Stable20 0137.0SRQHigh
YT/NWTsubt. 34 650 22: 4/9/2/7207 26712.0 11/ 6/ 2/ 3
Atlin EastBC38/YT8001999Stable5 99913.3SRQMod.
Atlin WestBC 393501998Stable4 3988.0TCMod.
EdzizaBC 272001983Stable1 28115.6ELow
FinlayBC 252001998Unknown3 0846.5TCMod.
FrogBC 301502000Unknown2 4216.2GLow
GatagaBC 312502000Unknown4 4365.6GLow
HorseranchBC 358501999Stable9 4998.9SRQMod.
JenningsBC 372001970sUnknown4 0804.9GLow
Level-KawdyBC 281 6501999Stable12 56813.1TCMod.
Liard PlateauBC 341502000Stable5 0693.0GLow
L. RancheriaBC36/YT1 0001999Increase4 13424.2SRQMod.
MuskwaBC 321 2502000Unknown16 7867.4GMod.
Pink Mtn.BC 248502000Declining11 6027.3SRQMod.
RabbitBC 338002000Unknown5 93613.5ELow
SpatsiziBC 262 2001994Stable16 92913.0TCMod.
TsenaglodeBC 292001999Unknown3 0156.6GLow
BC subtotal 11 100 16:1/7/1/7111 23710.0 0/ 9/ 7/ 0
Common5 YT/NT/BC1 800 2:1/1/0/010 133  0/ 2/ 0/ 0
NMP Total 43 950 36:/4/15/3/14308 37111.3 11/13/9/3

1 Trend, as reported by jurisdictions. Standard criteria are needed. In subtotals row the coding is number of populations: increasing/stable/decreasing/unknown.
2 SRQ=stratified random quadrat; Extr=extrapolation; TC=total count; G=guess (few data); E=estimate (some data).
3 This confidence estimate is a qualitative evaluation in most cases. Totals are high/moderate/low/unknown
4 The Redstone population is listed as 5 000 to 10 000 and 7 500 is mid-range.
5 Local population numbers and areas common to Yukon and B.C. are subtracted from the total.

Appendix 1b: Estimates of Numbers and Trends to 2002 for Forest-dwelling Woodland Caribou in the COSEWIC Southern Mountain Population

Prov. & Ref. no.Pop.
in nos.1
area (km2)
100 km2
Conf. in estimate
ChaseBC 227001993Stable11 3906.1TCeLow
GrahamBC 233002002Decreasing4 7346.3TCeMed.
Kennedy Siding BC 181702002Stable1 4701.6EMed.
MoberlyBC 191702002Unknown5 1153.3EMed.
QuintetteBC 172002002Stable1 42114.1EMed.
TaklaBC 211002002Unknown1 8505.4TCMed.
WolverineBC 204001996Unknown8 3154.8TCeLow
BelcourtBC 40/AB100 Unknown2 0454.9 See AB
NC metapop.BC 17-232 140 8:0/3/1/436 3405.9 7:0/5/2/0
CharlotteBC 13501999Decrease2 6501.9TCMed.
Itcha-IlgachuzBC 14a2 0002000Stable9 45721.1TCeHigh
TelkwaBC 16552000Stable1 8283.0TCeHigh
TweedsmuirBC 153001982Decrease12 8112.3EMed.
RainbowsBC 14b1252000Decrease3 8043.3TCeHigh
WC metapop.BC 13-162 530 5:0/2/3/030 5508.3 5:3/2/0/0
Hart RangesBC 124501999Stable10 2614.4EMed.
Narrow LakeBC 11651999Stable43115.1TCHigh
George Mtn.BC 1051999Decrease4411.1TCHigh
BarkervilleBC 9502000Stable2 5352.0TceHigh
N. Cariboo Mtn.BC 83401999Unknown5 9115.8TceMed.
Wells Gray S.BC 7b3151998Decrease10 3813.5TceMed.
Wells Gray N.BC 7a2002000Stable6 3463.2TceHigh
Cent. RockiesBC 6201998Decrease7 2650.3TCMed.
RevelstokeBC 52101998Decrease7 8632.5TCHigh
MonasheeBC 4102000Decrease2 0820.5TCMed.
Cent. SelkirksBC 31301997Decrease4 8132.7TceHigh
S. PurcellsBC 2202000Stable2 9620.7TceHigh
S. SelkirksBC1/I D352000Stable1 5002.3TceHigh
S. metapop. BC 1-121 850 13:0/6/6/162 7913.0 13:8/5/0/0
SMP BC Total BC 1- 236 555 26:0/11/10/5129 6805.1 25:11/12/ 2/0
Narraway(Belcourt)AB1/BC 401001999Unknown2 0454.9ASLow
Redrock/Pr.Cr.AB2/BC3121993Stable-decr.1 90016.4MRMed.
A la PêcheAB3/BC1701998Stable-decr.1 60010.6TCMed.
S. Jasper NPAB4/BC31381998Decrease2 2006.3TCMed.
N. Banff NPAB 54331989Decrease6005.5TCMed.
AB TotalsAB 1-5753 5: 0/2/2/18 3459.7 5:0/4/1/0
CommonBC/AB100 1:0/0/0/12 045   
SMP TotalBC + AB7 208 30:0/13/12/5135 9805.3 30:11/16/3/0

1 Trend, as reported by jurisdictions. Standard criteria are needed. In subtotals row the coding is number of populations: increasing/stable/decreasing/unknown.
2 TCe = total count & extrapolation from collared caribou; TC = total count; E = estimate; G = guess; AS = aerial survey; MR = mark & resight.
3 Mid point of 125-150.
4 Mid point of 25-40.

Appendix 1c: Estimates of Numbers and Trends to 2001 for Forest-dwelling Woodland Caribou in the COSEWIC Boreal Population

Prov./ ref. no.Pop.
in no.1
Conf. in est.
NWT Boreal2NT 152001999Unknown433 5041.2GLow
BC BorealBC417251999Unknown51 5411.4GLow
L. SmokyAB 6/802000Decrease1 9004.2EMod.
BistchoAB7/ NT4001993Unknown11 2003.6ELow
Caribou MtnAB8/NT4001993Decrease22 7001.8EMod.
ChinchagaAB 92001993Unknown9 3002.2ELow
HotchissAB 10151993Unknown6002.5ELow
DeadwoodAB 11501993Unknown2 2002.3ELow
Red EarthAB 128001993Decrease17 4004.6EMod.
RichardsonAB 131001993Unknown4 5002.2ELow
SlaveLakeAB 14501993Unknown3 0001.7ELow
W. AthabascaAB 153601998Decrease4 70013.1EMod.
E. AthabascaAB 164801993Decrease9 7005.0EMod.
Air WeaponsAB 173501993Stable11 2003.1EMod.
AB subtotals 3 285 12:0/1/5/698 4003.3  
Mid-BorealSK 17602000Decrease110 4980.7ELow
Athabasca PlainSK 24002000Unknown63 0000.6ELow
Churchill R.Upl.SK 33 7802000Decrease?108 0003.5ELow
SK subtotals 4 940 3:0/0/2/13281 4981.8  
WapisuMB 21002000Unknown6 9501.4EUnkn.
Sisipuk-Kamuch.2MB 31502000Unknown12 4701.2GUnkn.
Kississing-Naosap 2MB 41502000Stable10 0601.5V,BT,TCHigh
Reed-Clearwater l. 2 MB 51252000Stable10 3801.2V,BT,TCHigh
WabodenMB 61502000Unknown.17 0500.9EUnkn.
Island Lake2 MB 77502000Unknown23 2403.2GUnkn.
Gunisao-Hudwin 2MB 83752000Unknown14 3802.6GUnkn.
The Bog2MB 9632000Stable4 6101.4V,TC,LKMod.
Swan-Pelican2 MB 10632000Stable4 1901.5EMod.
William L.MB 11252000Unknown3 7500.7V,LK,ELow
North Interlake2MB 12632000Unknown10 3300.6V,LK,EMod.
Atikaki-Berens2MB 134002000Unknown21 1401.9V,LK,EUnkn.
Owl-Flintstone2 MB 14702000Stable3 6401.9T, TCHigh
MB subtotals 2484 13:0/5/0/8173 6701.4  
N. commercial For.ON2 277      
In commercial For.ON1 328      
Pot. commerc. For.ON481      
In parks & islandsON839      
ON subtotals 4 925  NA   
QC 50oN-55oNQC<10 0002000     
Val D’OrQC 165      
Grands JardinsQP 21031998     
Lac JosephQP3/L1See Labr      
QC subtotals 10 000  NA   
Lac JosephNF: L 11 0252000Increase50 0002.1MRMod
Red Wine Mtn.NF: L 21291997Decrease35 0000.4BTHigh
Mealy Mtn.NF: L 32531997Decrease20 0001.3BTHigh
Labr. subtot 1 407 3:1/0/2/0105 0001.3  
Boreal pop. 32 966 33:1/6/9/1731 143 613   

1 Trend, as reported by jurisdictions. Standard criteria are needed. In subtotals row the coding is number of populations: increasing/stable/decreasing/unknown. Footnotes continued below Appendix 1d.
2 G=guess; E=estimate; V=visual sightings; BT=belt strip transect: TC=total; LK=local knowledge; T=track counts.
3 Mid points given for NWT Boreal (4000-6400), Sisipuk-Kamuchawie (100-200), Kississing-Naosap lakes (100-200), Reed-Yawningstone-Clearwater lakes (100-150), Island Lake (500-1000), Gunisao- Hudwin lakes (250-500), The Bog (50-75), Swan-Pelican lakes (50-75), North Interlake (50-75), Atikaki-Berens (300-500), Owl-Flintstone lakes (65-75), and Val D’Or (40-90).

Appendix 1d: Estimates of Numbers and Trends to 2001 for Forest-dwelling Woodland Caribou in the COSEWIC Newfoundland (Island) Population

Local population
(I = introduced)
ref. no.
Trend in nos.1Range
100 km2
Conf. in estimate
AvalonNF 11 8501998Decrease3 50952.7SQR29%
Baie VerteNF 26001996Increase4 15914.4BT74%
Bay de Verte (I)NF 31001995Stable73313.6TCMod.
Brunette Isl. (I)NF 4751996Stable22340.9TCMod.
BuchansNF 57 8002000Stable1 200650.0SQR12%
Burin Pen. (I)NF 65001995Increase50199.8BT66%
Cape Shore (I)NF 71 4002000Increase576243.1BT57%
Corner BrookNF 87001997Stable543128.9BTMod.
Fogo Island (I)NF 92001996Increase25578.4TCMod.
Gaff TopsailsNF 106 0001989Increase3 334180.0MR23%
Gregory Plat. (I)NF 113601987StableUnkn. TC, VLow
Grey Island (I)NF 126001992Increase141425.5TCMod
Grey RiverNF 1316 5001997Increase9 375176.0MR10%
Gros MorneNF 142 8001997Increase1 960142.9TGC16%
Hampden DownsNF 158501994Increase584145.5BT57%
HumberNF 164 5001998Increase6 63567.8SQR34%
La PoileNF 1710 5001997Increase2 607402.8MR18%
Merasheen Isl. (I)NF 182802001Stable30093.3TCMod.
Middle RidgeNF 1919 8001995Increase5 691347.9MR10%
Mount PeytonNF 201 7001994Stable268634.3SQR29%
Northern Pen.NF 218 2001996Increase17 68646.4BT34%
Port Au Port (I)NF 22441982Stable38611.4TCMod.
Pot HillNF 235 2001997Increase1 171444.1MR22%
Random Island (I)NF 24201995Stable14114.2TCMod.
Sandy LakeNF 251 0001997Stable340294.1MR29%
Sound Island (I)NF 26331991Stable14235.7TCMod.
St. Anthony (I)NF 278 4001998Increase4 132203.3SQR40%
NFP Totals 100 012 27:5/11/1/066 263150.4  

1 Trend, as reported by jurisdiction. Standard criteria are needed (see page 39). In subtotals row the coding is number of populations: increasing/stable/decreasing/unknown.In totals row, the coding is number of populations: increasing/stable/decreasing/unknown.
2 SRQ= stratified random quadrat; BT = belt strip transect; TC = total count; MR = mark-resight; V = visual; TGC = total ground count.

Appendix 2a: Protected Areas that Afford Some Range Security for Forest-dwelling Woodland Caribou in COSEWIC’s Northern Mountain (NM) and Southern Mountain (SM) National Ecological Areas (NEA)

NEAProtected area1Local pop. of caribou & numbersProportion of caribou rangeProportion of pop. (nos.) in PAImportant range in PA2Security of PA3Source
NMDdah Ghro SMA – ex MacArthur GSEthyl Lake herd (est. 300)20% (about 800 km2 of 4000 km2 total range)Seasonally in summer & fallSome CR & rutting areasManage. Plan in dev.Yukon Prot. Area Strategy
NMKluane GS (YT) & Wrangle-St. Elias NP(AK)Chisana herd (est. 400)70% (about 9000 km2 of 13 000 km2 total range)Variable but most of the timeCore WR, all CR &  most of SRNH &  LDFarnell, p.c.  2001
NMNahanni Nat. Pk. Reserve 4766 km2Nahanni
(est. 2000 caribou)
12% (ca. 2000 km2 of total range of 16 000 km2)Numbers vary (move in/ out park)Imp. WR for part of populationNH, LDGullickson 2000
NMN. B.C.Not available     
SMCent./S B.C.Not available     
SMKakwa WildlandNarraway18%VariableSRLDSzkorupa
p.c. 2000
SMWillmore WildernessA la Pêche/ N.JasperNP72%VariableSR & recent WRLD,  HAAs above
SMJNP, Whitegoat WildernessSouth Jasper/ Whitegoat100%AllYR rangeLD,  NHAs above
SMBNP, Siffleur WildernessNorth Banff/Siffleur100%AllYR rangeLD,  NHAs above

1 SMA = Special Management Area, GS = Game sanctuary, NP = National Park,  PP = Provincial Park
2 CR = calving range, WR = winter range, SR = summer range. YR = year round range.
3 HA = hunting allowed, NH = no hunting, LD = limited development

Appendix 2b: Protected areas that afford some range security for forest-dwelling woodland caribou in COSEWIC’s Boreal (B) National Ecological Area (NEA)

NEAProtected area1Local pop. of caribou & numbersProp. caribou range in PAProp. of pop. (nos.) in PAImportant range in PA2Security of PA3Source
BSahyoue, NWT
2894 km2
NWTUnknownUnknownAnnual?NDGunn p.c. 2001
BEdacho, NWT
2642 km2
NWTUnknownUnknownAnnual?NDAs above
BEdehzhie, NWT
24 590 km2
NWTUnknownUnknownAnnual?NDAs above
BWood Buffalo
NWT: 9225 km2
NWTUnknownUnknownAnnual?NDAs above
BBirch Mtn. Wildland. ABRed Earth2%VariableUnknownLDSzkorupa
BMarguerite River Wildland, ABRichardson7%VariableUnknownLDAs above
BStony Mtn. & Grand Rapids Wildlands, ABESAR3%VariableUnknownLDAs above
BAir Weapons Range, ABCLAWR67%VariableUnknownLim. access/ disturb.As above
BCaribou Mtn.
Wildland PP 5910 km2
Caribou Mountains/
80%   Edmonton

BWood Buffalo NP, ABCaribou Mtns/ Yates4%VariableUnknownNH,
BChinchaga Wildland, ABChinchaga9%VariableUnknownLDAs above
BPrince Albert NP, SKPA Nat’l Pk
Est. 30
15%Important S/F rangeNH, little disturb.Trottier, p. c. 2001
BWildcat Hills Wildern. Area, SKEst. 5-1010%HA, poor access
BSeager-Wheeler Repr. Area, SKEst. 10-3040%Important YRHA, poor access
BNarrow Hills PP,
Est. 15-2010%Important SRHA, good access
BWapawekka Hills Repr. Area, SKEst. 25-3060%Important YRHA,  poor access
BLac La Ronge PP, SKEst. 6050%Imp.calving, S & WHA, some disturbance
BCold Lake Air Weapons RangeEst. 30-5030%UnknownNH
little disturb.
BAthabasca Sand Dunes PP Res,SKEst. 10-1550%Important YR rangeHA, very poor access

1 SMA = Special Management Area, GS = Game sanctuary, NP = National Park, PP = Provincial Park
2 CR = calving range, WR = winter range, SR = summer range, YR = year round range.
3 HA = hunting allowed, NH = no hunting, LD = limited development, ND = no development.

Appendix 2c: Protected Areas that Afford Some Range Security for Forest-dwelling Woodland Caribou in COSEWIC’s Newfoundland and Atlantic Populations in Canada

Protected area1Local pop. of caribou and numbersProportion of caribou rangeProportion of pop. (nos.) in PAImportant range in PA2Security of PA3Source
NF (Isl.)Gros Morne NP. 1 960 km2Gros Morne
(est. 2 800)
75% (seasonal movements in & out)Proportion variesImportant SR, WR, & CRNH,
Little disturb.
Mahoney 2000
NF (Isl.)Bay du Nord Wildern. Res.
2 859 km2
Middle Ridge
(est. 20 000)
50% (seasonal movements in-out)Proportion variesImportant SR, WR, & CRNH,
Little disturb.
As above
NF (Isl.)Avalon Wildern.Res. 1 070 km2


(est. 1 850)

50% (use varies)Proportion variesImportant SR, WR, & CRNH,
Little disturb.
As above
Gaspésie PPGaspésie
Estimate 200
80-90%91% of collaredYR rangeNH, little disturb.Ouelett et al. 1996

1 NP = National Park, Wildern. Res. = Wilderness Reserve, PP = Provincial Park
2 SR = summer range, WR = winter range, CR = calving range, YR = year round range.
3 NH = no hunting.

Appendix 3a: Types, Criteria, and Characteristics of Ecotypes of Woodland Caribou

Primary typesCriterionCharacteristics
Forest-tundra (migratory) or Forest dwelling (sedentary)Seasonal range use (movement pattern)Forest-tundra = taiga-tundra. Forest dwelling (boreal) may have short migrations (elevational shifts in mountains, latitudinal shifts on plains), have fixed summer range and variable winter range, or be essentially sedentary
Mountain or Boreal forest (plains)Occurrence in major landforms (Canada)Mountain caribou make elevational shifts to alpine in summer from subalpine in winter (exception: some winter in alpine).  Plains ecotype
Secondary types  
Terrestrial or ArborealWinter lichens eatenDifferentiates northern and mountain ecotypes in B.C. Poles of a continuum, i.e., both lichen types used in many areas.
Peatlands or Shield (islands/ Lakeshore/ streamsOccurrence within boreal forestLarge peatland complexes are most common south of the Shield. Caribou on the Shield are less likely to form local populations than on peatlands

Appendix 3b: Schematic of Woodland Caribou Ecotypes

Schematic of woodland caribou ecotypes.

Appendix 4: Indicators of the Status of COSEWIC Populations of Caribou

IndicatorValuePros and consReport
1. Total absolute numbersLowEffort increasing & better methods. Count accuracy & precision lowTable 1
2. Trend in absolute numbersLowSame as above row. Must partition natural and human effects on local populationsTable 2
3. Trend in numbers of local pops.MediumTrends (increasing/stable/decreasing/unknown) detected by several criteria. Need standard criteria for stable, etc. Table 3, App. 1
4. Frequency distrib. of local pop. sizesMediumShape of distribution is important. Small pops. likely vulnerableTable 4
5. Frequency distrib. of range sizesFairPotentially premier indicator but expensive (radio collars). Small areas a “red flag”Table 5
6. Densities of local pop.LowRequires good data for indicators 1 & 4. Need baseline data for habitat typeTable 6
7. Concerns & perceived threatsHighUsually correct, often subjective. Need weighting of factors. Need long-range models for caribou habitat supply where logging & other developmentTable 7
8. Database & current monitoringVariableRelates to indicators 1-6. Pop. demography etc., habitat changesTable 8
9. Proportion of range protectedMediumLimits development. Management options restricted.App. 2
10. Subjective designations of riskMediumSynthesis of all information. Many unknowns (e.g., warming effect)Table 10
11. Land-use plans include caribouUnknownAdaptive management. Landscape, stand and site considerations 
12. Caribou range fragmentation indexUndevelopedNeed to develop criteria specifically for caribou 
13. Habitat quality (integrity) indexUndevelopedNeed to develop criteria specifically for caribou. Mosaic component minimums 
14. Genetic diversity & changes w/ timeUnknownNeed to monitor selected local populations. Need to establish effect on caribou fitness 
15. Local population viability indicesUndevelopedNeed to agree on minimum viable pop. sizes, minimum range sizes including important components etc. 
16. Level of funding for monitoring/manageUndevelopedNeed to establish format (categories, sub categories, etc). 


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