In Canada, mountain caribou recovery falters

A decade of conservation efforts has done little to stop the decline of the endangered ungulates or their rainforest home.

  • Female caribou from the North Columbia herd north of Revelstoke, British Columbia in the Selkirk Mountains. This herd has been the focus of a number of conservation measures to try to stop their population decline including removal of most of the moose from their home range, targeted predator control efforts, and a maternal penning project. The province set aside some forests for this heard, while in other parts of their home range, logging continues.

    David Moskowitz
  • Mountain caribou are a endangered population of woodland caribou found in the interior mountains of the Pacific Northwest from Washington and Idaho north to central British Columbia and western Alberta. Logging continues in parts of their home range, especially at lower elevations, where they spend the spring and fall.

    David Moskowitz
  • Marcus Reynerson looks up at an ancient cedar tree, part of a stand of old growth rainforest just above the upper edge of an active logging operation. These trees were logged a few days after being photographed. Loggers wrap metal bands around cedar trees to prevent them from splitting as they fall.

    David Moskowitz
  • David Walker fells a western red cedar in the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia. Cedars are highly valued for use in lumber and musical instruments, but logging companies pay reduced fees for operating in areas with many low-value trees such as hemlock.

    David Moskowitz
  • A log truck carries cedar trees down Highway 23, north of Revelstoke, out of the home range of two different mountain caribou herds.

    David Moskowitz
  • Logging in the interior rainforest carries on summer and winter. On a snowy day a skidder pulls old growth cedar trees toward the landing where they will be bucked and loaded onto log trucks.

    David Moskowitz
  • The Celgar pulp mill along the Columbia River in Castlegar, British Columbia produces pulp for paper products from old growth hemlock logs cut in endangered mountain caribou habitat.

    David Moskowitz
  • A pregnant female mountain caribou is prepped for transport via helicopter to one of the two maternity pens in British Columbia after being captured with a net and sedated. Maternity pens are an invasive and labor intensive attempt to protect pregnant females and young calves from predators.

    David Moskowitz
  • Wolves trapped in the Peace River region of British Columbia. The province is carrying on a wolf cull in two part of mountain caribou country that involves aerial shooting of wolves from helicopters and liberal public hunting and trapping regulations.

    David Moskowitz
  • Large swaths of clear-cuts connected by logging roads high in the Hart Range, British Columbia fragment caribou habitat and invite competing species and predators into what has traditionally been a refuge for caribou alone.

    David Moskowitz
  • A mountain caribou traverses an alpine ridge in winter. Behind, a large clearcut fragments the subalpine forest just below tree line in the Hart Mountains of British Columbia.

    David Moskowitz
  • An understory of Devil’s club is shaded by western red cedars towering in an ancient rainforest stand in the North Cariboo Mountains in British Columbia. This stand of trees was slated for logging until members of the public pushed for its protection in a provincial park.

    David Moskowitz