Caribou: improving calf survival and herd size through maternity penning

Project Year: 2022-2023

Multi-year Project

Photo: Nîkanêse Wah tzee Stewardship Society

Project Lead

Nîkanêse Wah tzee Stewardship Society


Peace Region

Project Type

Species-Based Actions

FWCP Contribution


Action Plan Alignment


Project ID


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.

Indigenous-led Caribou Conservation from David Moskowitz on Vimeo.

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.