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  1. #1
    Member awndray's Avatar
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    Only 3 mountain caribou left



    There may be only three mountain caribou left in Washington’s, Idaho’s and British Columbia’s herd — a 75-percent decline since last year.

    Mid-March’s intensive three-day winter survey found only cows as well.

    “It’s a tough situation for caribou in the South Selkirks,” says*Bart George, a wildlife biologist for the Kalispell Tribe in Ione, north of Spokane.

    It marks a new low for a herd challenged by large-scale habitat alterations and new predators, wolves, arriving in the heights.

    At one time mountain caribou were as numerous as “bugs,” according to a First Nations man interviewed for*Last Stand: The Vanishing Caribou Rainforest, a film that*made the rounds*in the region last summer.

    George says that the three cows, which are fairly young animals of seven years or less, were all captured and given GPS collars.

    They were also tested to see if they were pregnant.

    Those results just arrived in Vancouver and “hopefully” will be available soon, he says, but if*the animals are pregnant, that would mean there may still be a bull or two somewhere out there on the landscape, or at least was last fall.

    And if the cows successfully bear calves, the herd could possibly rebuild to six later this spring, George says.

    If not, managers may need to supplement with caribou from farther north — though that may also depend on what surveys in the Purcell Mountains turn up.

    “We’re not going to just let three animals, especially cows, die in the Selkirks,” George vows.

    This winter has been pretty solid in this mountainous country, with snowpack at 150 percent of average — “great for caribou” — but it also buried a maternity pen that was built especially for the cows, rendering it useless for protection from predators.

    It’s also too late to safely recapture the cows if they are pregnant, George says.

    He plans to intensify his monitoring of the herd with a spotting scope, maybe even drones, in hopes of finding that they had calves.

    The collars may also lead them to other caribou that somehow were overlooked during the fixed-wing and helicopter surveys last month.

    “We were hoping for 12 again,” George says.

    As for why the herd’s numbers dropped so precipitously from a dozen in March 2017, he says it’s possible that other members had been hit by an avalanche or there was a vehicle strike on the main highway through the mountains, though he didn’t hear of one.

    “We’re still going to move forward as if there are caribou on the landscape, and go ahead with wolf control actions” on the BC side of the herd’s range, George says.

    He notes that there’s a collar on one of Washington’s Salmo Pack, which numbers six and overlaps with the ungulate’s recovery zone.

    Though the caribou primarily stay in Canada, the southernmost herd in North America still make occasional forays into Washington and Idaho, according to collar data, George says.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member BruceW's Avatar
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    Avalanche ... possible. Vehicle strike.......... no carcasses on road?

    My guess, a local deep freeze or else wolves.

    Seen the odd track in N. Ab, never seen a caribou there, although any that are seen up there are most assuredly in a local deep freeze. Thus the reason for my guess.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceW View Post
    Avalanche ... possible. Vehicle strike.......... no carcasses on road?

    My guess, a local deep freeze or else wolves.

    Seen the odd track in N. Ab, never seen a caribou there, although any that are seen up there are most assuredly in a local deep freeze. Thus the reason for my guess.
    You missed the US indigenous hunters that can come across the border, shoot what they want and then leave, all with OUR governments blessing.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Mobusten's Avatar
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    I heard on CBC radio that BC's caribou numbers have increased by something like 17% in the 3 or so years since they started the wolf population control.

  6. #5
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    Poaching and poor management practices, based on political interference as a result of noisy special interest groups. This AM CBC interviewed some left wing wacko enviroweanie group instead of the BCWF for comment.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Waterloomike's Avatar
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    Bears, wolves could be standing right by the cow and waiting for her to drop the calf.
    Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

    Thomas Jefferson

  8. #7
    Senior Member play.soccer's Avatar
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    Need more predator management. Shoot more wolves hunt more bears including grizzly bears.

  9. #8
    Senior Member ruger#1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by play.soccer View Post
    Need more predator management. Shoot more wolves hunt more bears including grizzly bears.
    The NDP shut the LEH grizzly hunt down. No open season on them. Wolves and coyotes. and big cats have seasons.


    It doesn't matter whether the gun they have is illegal or not they don't care about laws in the first place. You could make every gun illegal and you would still have these guys armed to the teeth it's not laws against guns we need laws against criminals !

  10. #9
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    pretty sure there's more human predation than any other form, likely the predators most needing control

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stew View Post
    pretty sure there's more human predation than any other form, likely the predators most needing control
    Pretty sure you don't have a clue what you're mouthing off about!

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    Mobusten (06-16-2018)

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