Enhancing Caribou Survival in the Klinse-Za Herd: Year 9
This multi-year project aims to enhance the survival rate of caribou cows and calves in the Klinse-Za and Scott East herds.
Maternity penning was used to successfully arrest population decline and avoid the extirpation of the Klinse-Za caribou herd. Having achieved that, the goal of this project is now population supplementation to offset low wild-calf recruitment and maintain a positive population trend.
Pregnant cow caribou will be captured in early March and transported to a protective pen located in natural calving range. The cows will be fed and monitored through late July, until calves have grown to a point where they are less susceptible to predation by wolves and bears, and then released back to the wild.
Update: 17 calves released from caribou maternity pen
There were more caribou inside the maternity pen on Mount Bickford this year than the entire Klinse-Za herd population back in 2014!
Seventeen calves were released in mid-August, along with 20 cows. It is the project’s most successful season in its nine-year history.
The secure maternity pen and careful monitoring by Saulteau and West Moberly guardians have helped the Klinse-Za caribou herd triple in size over the past decade.