In May 2002, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada re-examined the rank of the Boreal population of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) and confirmed the classification of 'Threatened' (COSEWIC 2002). This designation is defined as 'a species likely to become endangered if limiting factors are not reversed.' Within British Columbia, the population is restricted to the north-eastern corner of the province. On the provincial scale, woodland caribou are also divided into 3 ecotypes, based on characteristic ecology, with the 'boreal ecotype' corresponding to the British Columbian segment of the national 'Boreal population.' Provincially, the boreal ecotype is blue-listed (CDC 2002). In 1999, the Boreal Caribou Habitat Study in North-eastern British Columbia was initiated as a joint project between the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands & Parks (MoELP) and Slocan Forest Products Ltd. ? Fort Nelson Division (Slocan). The primary objective of the project is to describe boreal caribou population dynamics and habitat use within the Snake/Sahtaneh watersheds and Kotcho Lake area, east of Fort Nelson. The study represents a significant step in addressing the lack of understanding of the ecology of boreal caribou in British Columbia and identifying key habitats and limiting factors critical to the long-term persistence of the species. Since its inception, the project has collected information on caribou habitat use, movements and population dynamics within the Snake/Sahtaneh study area. As preliminary results indicated low calf recruitment, the Year IV program was expanded to include an assessment of local predator populations. Between November 2002 and March 2003, 16 grey wolves (Canis lupus) were fitted with telemetry collars (9 GPS and 7 VHF) to collect information on wolf population size and movements within the study area. During Year V, field collection of data on caribou and wolf populations was continued and five GPS collars were deployed on black bears to investigate potential predation of caribou calves. This report summarizes Years I through IV (April 1999 through March 2003) and describes activities conducted during Year V (2003/2004) of the project.
Culling, Brad, Culling, Diane. 2004. Boreal caribou habitat study in North-eastern British Columbia: annual progress report : year V, April 1, 2003 - March 31, 2004. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2004MR034