Guest Blog: Lake Superior’s Little Known Caribou Species on the Brink
If you ask any eight-year-old where reindeer live, they would reply with certainty: “at the North Pole.” But as late as 1912, their range stretched as far south as Michigan. Now the species has been pushed back north to a few scattered islands in Lake Superior, and a small herd in the northernmost stretches of the American Rockies.
This species has been decimated by habitat destruction, hunting and vehicle collisions. Any recovery efforts on the islands in Superior have been limited by predation. I would like to see immediate action taken by both the United States and Canadian governments to provide caribou populations in Lake Superior more effective protections, as well as increased awareness and support by the local communities.
Lake Superior is home to a specific subspecies of caribou known as the boreal woodland caribou (Rangiferus tarandus). Designated as threatened in 2002, the only remaining American population is in the northern Rocky Mountains. This herd was most recently found to have three remaining females, leaving them unable to sustain a population.
Read the full story on Unscripted.