Woodland caribou are an ancient part of the fabric of mountain landscapes in BC, but right now their very survival is in doubt.
In the 1960s, the caribou herds in Treaty 8 territory of northeastern BC were hundreds and thousands strong. Local elders speak of a “sea of caribou” moving across the landscape.
Flooding for the W.A.C. Bennett Dam drowned caribou and disrupted migration routes in the Peace River region and the large herds quickly began to disappear. One herd is now locally extinct and more than half of the province’s surviving herds are at risk as a result of clearcutting, open-pit mining, roads and pipelines.
But there is hope for caribou, and Indigenous Nations are leading the way to their recovery.