group caribou walking up a snowy hillside photo by doug macnearney

Caribou Program

Applied research focused on caribou in western Canada.

Research Areas

Effects and Reclamation of Linear Features

Caribou ranges in west-central Alberta are criss-crossed by tens of thousands of roads, seismic lines and pipelines. Since the Caribou Program began in 2013, one of areas it has focused on is to understand exactly what impact these disturbances are having on caribou and other relevant species. We have then created GIS maps and tools so that partners can prioritize the restoration of linear features to maximize the benefit to caribou herds.

Health and Predation

Key to conserving caribou herds in Alberta is understanding the relative risks of factors such as different predators, disease, stress from anthropogenic disturbance, lack of high quality habitat, and other environmental hazards.

Effects of Mountain Pine Beetle

As mountain pine beetle spreads through caribou ranges in Alberta, both the stands wiped out by the beetle itself and the actions taken by people to manage the beetle could impact caribou recovery.

Effects of Silviculture

This suite of projects examines how humans are changing the landscape for caribou, and seeks to provide practical knowledge and tools so that through targeted conservation and restoration, land managers can improve their operations to benefit caribou.

A previous fRI Research program, the Woodland Caribou Program, was active from 1993 until 2005.

Program Lead
Dr. Laura Finnegan
Contact
Many wellsites have been certified as reclaimed, but their condition varies. This project will assess wildlife use of wellsites to […]
logs and caribou in a snowy forest
This 3-year study will evaluate the potential of new forest management practices to benefit both woodland caribou and growth and yield.
This project examines how moose respond to different re-vegetation trajectories on seismic lines after disturbance and different silvicultural treatments used by forestry. A re-vegetation prescription or silvicultural treatment that moose avoid may be less of a problem for caribou.
This project will identify caribou calving habitat and relate calf survival to predation risk and anthropogenic disturbance.
Beginning in 2018, this project will investigate how cutblock design can be less favourable for deer, moose, and elk.
This project will gather data on the disease and parasites carried by moose, deer, and elk to determine the risk of transmission to caribou.
A single year Habitat Stewardship Program Species at Risk project with the Caribou Program.
Locating habitat and prioritizing restoration in west-central Alberta.
This project will evaluate and mitigate industrial impacts on west-central Alberta Caribou herds.
Collecting baseline health data for Alberta caribou herds.
How are caribou affected by the roads and seismic lines criss-crossing their habitat?
Starting in 2013, this project is looking at how caribou and wolf behaviour is related to cutlines.
forest photo in which single tree cut and burn has been practiced. stump in foreground, red needles on the ground, the rest of the forest is standing
QuickNotes | Summaries and Communications
This 2-page briefing note summarizes a recent paper looking at how to balance management of mountain pine beetle, grizzly bears, […]
deer in a cutblock
Scientific Publications | Peer Reviewed Papers
Abstract Forest harvesting alters habitat, impacts wildlife, and disrupts ecosystem function. Across the boreal forest of Canada, forest harvesting affects […]
Summaries and Communications | Infographics
Summary of a Caribou Program paper.
infographic: controlling mountain pine beetle while maintaining caribou forage. download pdf for full text
Summaries and Communications | Infographics
Results from a Caribou Program study.
Summaries and Communications | Infographics
Results from a Caribou Program study.
Summaries and Communications | Infographics
Results from a recent Caribou Program paper.
Managing Wellsites to Create More Habitat for Caribou
QuickNotes | Summaries and Communications
Summary of a recent Caribou Program paper.
Caribou in the Cross-fire?
QuickNotes | Summaries and Communications
2-page summary of a Caribou Program paper.
the field crew crowd onto a swing
Blog
Dispatch from the Caribou Program field crew.
2 field techs with arboreal lichen moustaches
Blog
By: Elise Henze, Claire Kelly, Tommy O’Neill Sanger, Micah Winter, Solène Williams Q: What does a ghost with antlers say? […]
Blog
Dispatch from the Caribou Program field crew.
Shift 4: Too Hot to Handle
Blog
Dispatch from the Caribou Program field crew.
Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunity in Habitat Management for Woodland Caribou
Announcement
The University of Northern British Columbia is recruiting a post-doc for a 1.5-year term. The targeted start date is November 15, but we are looking to fill the position as soon as possible.
Blog
Dispatch from the Caribou Program field crew.
Blog
Dispatch from the Caribou Program field crew.
Shift 1: Oh, for Fox Creek!
Blog
Dispatch from the 2022 Caribou Program field crew.
Meet the Crew: 2022 Edition!
Blog
Dispatch from the Caribou Program field crew.
Suzanne Stevenson
Suzanne Stevenson
Program Coordinator
Leonie Brown
Leonie Brown
Wildlife Biologist
Cameron McClelland
Cameron McClelland
Wildlife Biologist
Dr. Laura Finnegan
Dr. Laura Finnegan
Program Lead
Tracy McKay
Tracy McKay
Wildlife Biologist

Woodland caribou are declining across Alberta and British Columbia because industrial activity has degraded and fragmented their habitat. They have been listed as Threatened since 2003 under the Species at Risk Act. Large areas of relatively undisturbed, interconnected habitat with few predators are essential for the recovery of caribou. Caribou Webtools is designed to help support conservation efforts and provide habitat information for natural resource managment. The webtools include five habitat models and a disturbance dashboard that allow users to edit footprint and run landscape scenarios. Caribou Webtools was developed by the Caribou and GIS Programs.

Go to Caribou Webtools