Technical Bulletins & Special Reports

Special Report No. 11-02: An Inventory of Caribou Research Programs in Canada

 Caribou or Rangifer tarandus is a species of deer that lives in tundra, taiga, and forest habitats at high latitudes in the northern hemisphere, including Russia and Scandinavia; Alaska, Idaho, and Washington states; and Canada. The woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) has been listed under Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and is a high profile subspecies as it relates to forested environments across Canada. Further, the decline of this emblematic species has been linked to forest management practices throughout its range, and as a result, conservation of the species is a high priority for many forest products companies.

As research on this subspecies is important to aid in its conservation and management, researchers from across Canada were surveyed to document the current research effort within the species range. The survey was a follow-up to a similar NCASI project in 2007, and its findings show a notable increase in caribou-related research since that time. While most research categories (basic ecology, disturbance-driven, energetics and nutrition, administrative and other) showed increases in research activity, two categories (predation-driven and genetics) showed decreases.

In addition to an overview of the 73 ongoing Woodland Caribou-related research projects, the report also includes information on barren-ground caribou research, documenting 11 projects from across Canada’s north. The report includes an abstract for each project documented, and all information from the survey is available in an Excel spreadsheet.