Barren Ground Caribou

Barren Ground Caribou

Identification

Seasonal color changes occur with animals becoming grayish in Winter. Generally dark brown with a white posterior. Length to 6.5 feet. Height at shoulder to 3.5 feet, weight to 375 pounds. Antlers are smaller and more slender than in Woodland Caribou. Partly flattened in shape, but erect and spreading. The Lower part of the main beam is round in cross section.

Range

The barren ground is a native of the Northwest Territories, occasionally migrates into Northeastern Alberta. Have been known to migrate as far South as Fort McMurray. Last authentic large migration occurred in 1956. Giant herds spent the Winter in the Embarrass Portage District. 

Mating

Mating occurs in late autumn with one to two calves born in June.

Food

Browse, sedges, mosses and lichens form the bulk of the Winter range foods eaten by Caribou. Summer diet includes shrubby vegetation such as willow, aspen and birch. 

Remarks

The Wolf is the caribou’s persistent enemy during the long migration. They follow the herds and pick off stragglers, immatures, and the aged. However, man is still the prime reason for the Caribou’s reduction in numbers.

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