Elk NetworkEnd of an Era, Last Caribou in Lower 48 Relocated to Canada

General | November 7, 2018

The last, remaining caribou in the Lower 48 will soon be no more. In an effort to save their genetics, the Canadian government plans to capture them and move them to a breeding pen in British Columbia just west of Banff National Park.

Six caribou are all that remain in the Selkirk Mountains in the northernmost tip of the Idaho panhandle. As a species, they have been hanging on by a thread for years.

According to the Spokesman Review, there were 46 animals in the herd in 2009 but an expanding wolf population took its toll.

“Of the six collared animals that we collared in 2013, two were killed by wolves, one killed by cougars and one by an unknown mortality,” Bart George, Kalispel Tribe wildlife biologist, told the Spokesman Review.

Other major factors included poor habitat, logging roads, snowmobiling and mountain lion predation.

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(Photo source: Dean Biggins/US Fish and Wildlife Service)