Woodland caribou (Rangifer taradus caribou)
Pukaskwa National Park
Caribou are members of the deer family (Cervidae) and are known as reindeer in other parts of the world. Unlike other deer, both males and females have antlers. Males shed their antlers in the fall, whereas females shed them in the spring. Their woodland range includes arctic tundra, subarctic taiga and boreal softwood forest. Their preferred food is lichen and one caribou can eat up to 4.5 kg of lichen each day. Caribou weigh 110 to 210 kg and males are slightly bigger than females.
Woodland caribou status in Pukaskwa
Pukaskwa has the southernmost mainland herd of woodland caribou in the world. In the past, caribou used small islands in the park as “safe” spaces to have their calves. It is currently estimated that there are 5 to 16 individuals in the park, but caribou have not been observed at the calving islands since 2011. Caribou are now a threatened species at risk in Canada.
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