‘Death By 1,000 Clearcuts’: Canada’s Deep-Snow Caribou Are Vanishing

"The B.C. government spends millions on extreme measures — like wolf culls and maternity pens — to support these mountain-loving herds found nowhere else in the world. Yet such efforts fail to offset the habitat destruction at the root of their disappearance".

"Biologist Rob Serrouya received word of the female caribou’s possible demise at 8:20 a.m. one Monday in late November. An automated email message warned the caribou’s radio collar had slipped into mortality mode, meaning no signals of movement had been transmitted through a satellite for six hours.

Serrouya doubted the relatively new collar had malfunctioned or was lost in the snow on the slopes of the Monashee Mountains, north of Revelstoke, B.C. Likely something else had happened to the caribou from the highly endangered Columbia North herd. He grabbed his cell phone, a knife, a spot safety beacon and a telemetry receiver.

Two hours later, a helicopter dropped Serrouya off on a sloping patch of open snow in the forest of Engelman spruce and subalpine fir. He snowshoed about 900 metres through the trees, towards the collar’s signal. The snow was unusually shallow, barely a foot deep, for that time of year. “Not a good sign,” he thought. Then he saw a mess of flattened bushes and broken branches and instantly knew he was dealing with a battle scene."

Sarah Cox reports for The Narwhal January 14, 2023.

Source: The Narwhal, 01/17/2023