Canada: Biologists make surprise discovery of southern mountain caribou calf - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaBiologists make surprise discovery of southern mountain caribou calf

10:00  12 february  2019
10:00  12 february  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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Watch how biologists study and conserve caribou in the wild. Commissioned by the 14th North American Caribou Workshop hosted in Fort St John, British Columbia in September 2012. Funding for this project came from the generous donations to the 2012 Caribou Workshop, you can see the list of

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Biologists make surprise discovery of southern mountain caribou calf © Aaron Reid Biologists weren't expecting to find a caribou calf wandering in the Purcell Mountains with a bull.

Biologists made a surprising discovery last week when they found a female caribou calf wandering in the Purcell Mountains near Kimberley, B.C.

They thought all of the southern mountain caribou were accounted for when they began an operation in January to  gather the remaining caribou in the Kootenays and relocate them to a pen north of Revelstoke, in a desperate attempt to keep the species alive.

All of the caribou were thought to have been captured, except for two stubborn bulls, one of which was found wandering with the calf.

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The Selkirk Mountain caribou is simply forgotten. The loss of this herd is one of the greatest The history and tragic downward spiral of the mountain caribou found in the southern Selkirk Mountain In an effort to boost calf counts, maternal pens have been built with high fences and supplemental

Woodland caribou ; includes boreal woodland caribou , migratory woodland caribou and mountain Northern populations, which usually are relatively small, are whiter, while southern populations, which Golden eagles prey on calves and are the most prolific hunter on the calving grounds.[107]

"Originally, observers thought [the calf] was a yearling male, but we weren't that confident in the diagnosis," said Leo DeGroot, a wildlife biologist with the B.C. government. "So, our staff flew again ... and  discovered it was actually a female calf."

DeGroot told reporter Bob Keating that the discovery of a female calf is especially important because she can help with reproduction.

"[Southern mountain caribou's] days are limited," he said. "[The calf] will be valuable to another larger population."

Relocation

He says they hope to capture the calf as early as this week using a helicopter and a net, to try and relocate her to the "maternity" pen near Revelstoke with the other caribou that were previously moved.

Eventually, biologists hope to introduce the calf to the Columbia herd, which is about 150 strong.

They will try to capture the bull the calf was seen with, but the second bull they probably will leave to live out his life in the Purcells, said Degroot.

"Males aren't biologically important to move. In the population, they'll be moved to ... there's probably 50 or 60 males."

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