Caribou families are pictured at the Caribou Maternity Pen near Revelstoke.

Caribou families are pictured at the Caribou Maternity Pen near Revelstoke.

Caribou released from maternal pen

Release marks second season of project aiming to reverse decline of threatened species

  • Jul. 17, 2015 2:00 p.m.

Courtesy Mary Clayton

Revelstoke, BC — Seventeen adults, 11 calves (three to six weeks old) and one juvenile caribou were recently released from a maternal pen near Revelstoke.

The release is part of a multi-stakeholder pilot project by the Revelstoke Caribou Rearing in the Wild Society (RCRW) aimed at increasing the number of endangered mountain caribou in the Columbia Mountains. Maternal penning is designed to increase calf survival by protecting cows and calves from predation during late gestation and the first few weeks of life

Adult female caribou were captured in April and transported to a predator-resistant enclosure and have been tended by shepherds. The released animals have now moved into their natural high-elevation summer range and will be monitored for the next eight months using satellite-linked collars.

During captivity there were five mortalities —an adult cow and four calves. The causes of these deaths varied. An adult cow and her calf died due to poor physical condition; three other calves died as a result of abandonment, injury (consistent with trampling) and infection, respectively.

From the beginning, the project has implemented professionally reviewed standards of care. In the interest of improving care and gaining insight into sources of caribou mortality, a wildlife veterinarian re-assessed the caribou, the site and procedures. Recommendations from this assessment were implemented immediately, including more rigorous quarantine measures, increased frequency of water changes, removal of standing water, decreased disturbance and early release.

“We thank the dedicated wildlife veterinarians who provided assistance at all hours of the day and night” said Kelsey Furk, President of RCRW. “We continue to work with qualified biologists and veterinarians to learn from our experiences and use this knowledge to support ongoing conservation efforts.”

Currently, there are approximately 120 caribou in the Columbia North herd. The recovery goal is to increase the population to a self-sustaining level of 250 caribou.

RCRW is a community-based partnership that includes the Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation, Splatsin First Nation, the North Columbia Environmental Society, the Revelstoke Snowmobile Club, Mica Heli Guides, the Province of BC and the Columbia Mountains Caribou Research Project.

The maternity penning project is grateful to the many dedicated volunteers and funders that make this project possible. Major supporters include the Government of Canada, Parks Canada, the Province of BC, the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, the Revelstoke Community Forestry Corporation, Columbia Basin Trust, Shell Canada, Golder and Associates Ltd., Downie Timber and Selkirk Tangiers Heliskiing. To see a full list of supporters go to rcrw.ca/contributors

Just Posted

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

Calvin Dickson photo.
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for East Kootenay

Conditions favourable for the development of thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

Mount Baker Secondary School in Cranbrook.
Graduation ceremony in the works for MBSS Class of 2021

The Mount Bake Secondary School Class of 2021 will have a graduation… Continue reading

After being forced to cancel in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Wasa Triathlon is being organized for August. Bulletin file photo.
Information released for Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon scheduled for August

In 2020 the COVID pandemic forced the Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon to… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Most Read