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wood caribou cople

wood caribou cople
Photo Information
Copyright: jeanpaul Bolduc (jeanpaul) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2097 W: 99 N: 3518] (14962)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-09-27
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Kodak DX6490, 52.6mm
Exposure: f/3.6, 1/90 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2010-02-11 16:35
Viewed: 4827
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [French]
Endangered Species

Species Spotlight: Woodland Caribou
By Deborah Carr

Vital Signs

Common name: Woodland caribou
Latin name: Rangifer tarandus caribou
Status under SARA: In 2002, COSEWIC listed woodland caribou as threatened overall and specifically, four populations at risk: Atlantic-Gaspésie, Boreal, Southern Mountain (BC, AB) and Northern Mountain (YK, NT, BC).
Range: Boreal forest in all provinces / territories except NS, NB, and PEI
Life Span: 10 to 15 years
Size: 1 to 1.2 m high at the shoulder, 110 to 210 kg in weight.
Population Estimate: 1.5 million in Canada

The Story

The Mi’kmaq called them ‘xalibu’, meaning ‘one who paws’ or ‘snow shoveller’. Today, they are nicknamed ‘grey ghosts’ for their elusive, shy nature... a portent, perhaps, to their future, as numbers are in sharp decline throughout Canada.

The majestic woodland caribou roams large, undisturbed forests, wetlands, and bogs in every province of Canada, except the Maritimes where the species was extirpated in the 1920’s.

With a solid body built for stability and long legs to navigate deep snow, they travel the northern forests and might migrate great distances in search of food. They communicate with a series of grunts and clicks.

Through the summer, caribou seek green vegetation of wetlands and valleys, but following the winter freeze, they use keen scent to locate nutritious terrestrial lichen, which have high carbohydrate content and are easy to metabolize. Once winter’s crust deepens and firms enough to support their weight, herds move into mature coniferous forests seeking arboreal lichens, such as Old Man’s Beard and Witches Hair, which only grow on trees 80 years or older.

Caribou need large areas of undisturbed old growth woodland. This is directly connected to their survival as these forests not only provide a necessary food source, but protection from predators such as wolves, lynx, cougar, coyote, and bears. This also keeps them geographically separated from moose and deer carrying meningeal brain worm, which is fatal to caribou.

A pair of caribou navigate a snowy slope. Photo: Environmental Stewardship Branch, WLAP, Kootenay Region

However, as industrial development pushes further north, the caribou are running out of suitable territory. Logging operations, oil and gas exploration and mining developments are cutting into these forests, opening up networks of roads and seismic lines that penetrate their isolated habitat and provide linear corridors for predators to travel. These roads and lines also enable recreational access by ATVs, snowmobiles, hunters and poachers. Regenerated forest areas attract elk, deer and moose, which prefer the tender shoots of young trees, increasing chance of disease. Their presence, in turn, supports predators that also prey on caribou.

A new threat comes from an increasing number of backcountry tourism operators who helicopter, snowmobile or snowcat clients into remote wilderness lodges, skiing or hiking locations.

Woodland caribou are facing disturbance on all levels and low birthrates coupled with a high calf mortality rate means populations are very susceptible to stress.

Hormon_Manyer, jtkerb, ramthakur, CeltickRanger, eng55, Noisette, maurydv, anemone, boreocypriensis, roges, oscarromulus, rousettus, lovenature, amanengone, brech has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Bonjour Jean-Paul,
Nice forest scene with typical yet wonderful autumn colors. Composition-wise I find the foreground a bit too much, I should have cropped a bit more of it, but otherwise everything's OK on the photo. Aesthetic job, mon ami, merci.
Best regards, László

I enjoy how how the autumn colors are played up a bit by the forest shadow. Those are some stocky caribou! Getting reading for a long winter I s'pose. Great note, learned quite a bit. Thanks.

Another very charming picture of Wood Caribous, JP.
The fall colours of the forest make a very attractive and natural backdrop in this shot.
Well done and TFS.

bonjour Jean-Paul

une belle photo de ces Caribous dans ce très joli habitat,
excellent POV, j'aime toujours que la photo est prise
les animaux de loin ainsi on peut aussi admirer leurs habitat,
excellent focus netteté et détails, TFS


  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2010-02-12 14:49]

Hi Jean Paul,
Another great capture.This one looks like also a painting.
I liked lighting,details and visual impact a lot.
Thanks for posting..

bonjour Jeanpaul
superbe photo de ces deux caribous des bois dans un magnifique décor automnal
c'est dommage que cette espèce est menacée, ils sont vraiment très beaux
l'image est bien détaillée, la luminosité et les couleurs sont excellents
Passe une bonne nuit

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 893 W: 0 N: 507] (1853)
  • [2010-02-12 23:50]

Nice autumn colors, splendid area for life of these animals.
Lovely moment for photography of the two caribous.
Very well done.

Have a nice weekend,

Bonjour Jean-Paul,
une belle photo, une image pleine d'atmosphère avec de belles couleurs de l'automne, une jolie composition
Merci et félicitations
Bon weekend
Ciao Maurizio

Hello Jeanpaul. Beautiful photo of these caribus. Details, colours and composition are wonderful.
TFS. Kind regards,

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-02-13 8:28]

Bonjour Jean-Paul,
A fine capture of these two Woodland Caribous in there natural habitat. The stag looks great against the BG of the trees from a nice lateral POV.
It reminds me of Lapland in my country in the autumn!
Merci et bon weekend,

another beautiful capture, no need for the greenish frame though, TFS Ori

Hi again Jeanpaul,

Very eye-pleasing wildlife photography! Perfectly composed, the sharpness seems first class. You are so lucky to see such impressive scenery MF.
TFS and have a nice day!


Impresionante mamífero Jeanpaul. Quien pudiera visitar ese gran y magnífico País, todo un sueño para muchos fotógrafos.
Un abrazo desde España.

  • Great 
  • roges Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 957 W: 0 N: 1329] (6264)
  • [2010-02-27 6:25]

Hi JP,
beautiful shot.
Extraordinary clarity and color. And POV-top site is chosen, congratulations.
Have a nice Saturday,

Loved your notes and image.
Beautiful Autumn scenery.
BEAUTIFULLY presented, indeed!!!
Had you waited a bit you might have seen & captured them "mating".
Greetings from Mario.

salut Jeanpaul
what a nice capture of Caribou, beautiful endangered deer species. superb colors and composition. focus, POV and BG very nice. thanks for sharing this beauty. well done

Hello Jean Paul
Excellent capture of these two Woodland caribou. It's sad to know they are on the endangered list along with many other creatures. The composition and autumn colours are amazing. A really nice portrait all around.
TFS Janice

Bonsoir Jean-Paul.

Bravo pour cette photographie automnale de ce couple de Caribous. Belles couleurs, bonne netteté et belle position des deux comparses, qui semblent dialoguer. J'aurai peut-être un peu resserré le cadrage (mais, c'est une question de perception de la scène).

Merci pour ce partage.

A bientôt.


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