Wide hooves and narrow legs help caribou travel through deep snow
Cariibou are the only Species of Deer That Females and Males Both Grow Antlers
HOOVES ARE CONCAVE TO HELP CARIBOU DIG THROUGH SNOW AND Forage for FOOD
Caribou Hair is hollow Helping to Insulate them in cold environments and float in water
Run up to
weigh Up to
Migrate Up To
Antlers Grow Up To
There are 15 recognized caribou sub-species across the globe in...
Finnish forest reindeer
Novaya Zemlya reindeer
Siberian tundra reindeer
Siberian forest reindeer
Did you know?
Caribou can inhabit a variety of different ecotypes within their range, such as tundra plains, dense boreal forests, and more mountainous regions, as well.
According to a 2018 survey conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:
"Overall abundance of reindeer and caribou has declined 56 percent from a total estimated population of 4.7 million individuals to about 2.1 million individuals over the past two decades."
"Only 1 of the more than 20 monitored herds is confirmed to have populations near their historic high numbers based on updated estimates since the 2013 Arctic Report Card.
In the U.S., of the four tracked herds, three peaked sometime between 2003 and 2010 only to decline 57 percent by 2017.
In Canada, nine herds declined so precipitously that barren-ground caribou are now nationally listed as Threatened, and two herds of Eastern Migratory Caribou are now considered Endangered.
In Russia, 18 of 19 assessed herds are considered rare, decreasing, or Threatened."
Human and caribou interaction
Humans have long depended on caribou herds for sustenance in otherwise inhospitable regions of the world. Indigenous groups like the Gwich'in nation in the Artctic circle are still intimately interconnected with the migration patterns of the caribou, which they hunt and use as a traditional food source. In parts of Siberia, nomadic groups like the Chauchu peoples still herd reindeer and travel with them on their great migration paths as they have for milennia. In North America, Scandinavia, and
Russia, hunting seasons are managed by federal wildlife officials and tags are available to the general public. Unfortunately, poaching and overhunting has surfaced as an issue in these remote locations where enforcement is often lacking. Sustainable hunting practices and proper enforcement must be a part of the solution.
'NOAA; www.climate.gov; "2018 Arctic Report Card: Reindeer and caribou populations continue to decline
NOAA; www.arctic.noaa.gov; "2018 Arctic Report Card; Migratory Tundra Caribou and Wild Reindeer'; D. E. Russell, A. Gunn, S. Kutz, 2018