Living with Us… Woodland Caribou (Atik)

Woodland Caribou are the largest caribou found in Canada.  In the winter they eat mainly lichen, which they are able to sniff out using their great sense of smell.  In the summer they eat moss, plants, grass, and willow leaves.  Woodland caribou need large areas of undisturbed old-growth forests and wetlands, where they can easily find food and hide from predators.  As industrial development pushes further north in Canada, woodland caribou are running out of suitable woodlands.  This is why the woodland caribou’s boreal population here in Ontario is listed as ‘threatened’, meaning that they may become extinct if efforts are not made to help the caribou and protect their habitat.

Did You Know…

Woodland caribou are found throughout the Matawa member First Nation homelands, including in the ‘Ring of Fire’ area.  Four Rivers, with the support of Environment and Climate Change Canada, will be working with communities over the next few years to start a field research program on our caribou population.  One of the tools that community environmental monitors can use when researching caribou populations is a trail camera, which can be set-up to capture pictures of caribou in areas where they are known to travel.  The photos help the researcher monitor the population, behaviour and movement patterns of the caribou.