Mountain caribou in the South Selkirk range are in danger of local extinction. Larger herds of northern caribou in the Peace region are also declining in numbers.

B.C. caribou herds decline, wolf kill to continue

Habitat protection, penning pregnant females showing results as biologists continue to shoot wolves from helicopters

Endangered caribou herds in the Kootenays and South Peace region have continued to decline as the B.C. government assesses the second year of its wolf removal project.

Nine wolves were killed by hunting and trapping in the South Selkirk Mountains this winter, while wolves took two caribou out of a herd that was down to 18 animals at last count.

Forests ministry staff will try to shoot 24 wolves from helicopters before the snow melts in the South Selkirks. Six of the remaining caribou have been fitted with radio collars to track them.

Four northern caribou groups in the South Peace targeted for wolf control have also declined, to about 170 animals in the Quintette, Moberley, Scott and Kennedy Siding herds. Ministry staff have documented that about one third of losses in the South Peace are from wolves, where there are seven herds, one down to a single bull.

Working with Treaty 8 First Nations, the ministry’s goal is to shoot from 120 to 160 wolves in the South Peace this year. The Graham herd, the largest in the South Peace and the province at about 700 animals, is being monitored for its survival without protection from wolves.

Forests Minister Steve Thomson said the program will continue next winter, along with a project to capture and pen pregnant female caribou in the Kootenay region to keep newborn calves from being killed by wolves.

“They’re getting increased survival rates for the calves from the maternal penning, with lots of partners in support of that program,” Thomson said.

The recovery plan for the South Selkirk population includes protecting 2.2 million hectares or 95 per cent of the best caribou habitat from logging and road-building.

The South Peace recovery plan includes 400,000 hectares, about 90 per cent of the high-elevation winter caribou habitat in the region.

 

Just Posted

Lack of security: why Vancouver Island food production is on the decline

Big Read: agriculture a big, expensive commitment as advocates push to make us more food secure

Earth Day 2018 focuses on ending plastic pollution

“Choose one easily changeable plastic item that you can work to eliminate from your day-to-day life.”

Tofino Shorebird Festival ready for flight

Annual event raises awareness of tiny travellers

Snowbirds fly over Tofino and Ucluelet

“We had front row seats.”

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Dix says B.C. remains focused on fighting youth overdoses in wake of teen’s death

Elliot Eurchuk’s parents say he died at his Oak Bay home after taking street drugs

Final week for ALR input

Public consultation process closes April 30

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

B.C. VIEWS: Eliminating efficiency for farm workers

Don’t worry, NDP says, the B.C. economy’s booming

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Most Read