A map showing the dispersion of mountain caribou herds in the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. (BC Caribou Recovery Program Photo)

Fewer than 250 caribou remain in Columbia Shuswap

Only one of four herds in region with stable population, still considered threatened

The Columbia and Shuswap region is home to four at-risk mountain caribou herds, three with populations in steady decline.

According to a document produced by the BC Caribou Recovery Program, the Frisby-Boulder herd, which ranges over the mountainous area between Sicamous and Revelstoke, has the most diminished population with only an estimated 11 animals remaining. Its population is still in decline.

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Also declining are the Columbia South and Central Selkirks herds with 34 and 29 animals respectively.

The only herd in the region with a stable population is the Columbia North herd with 147 animals; it is still considered threatened by the Caribou Recovery Program.

The Central Rockies herd, which once roamed north of Glacier National Park, is now gone.

Provincewide, caribou numbers have declined from between 30,000 and 40,000 at the turn of the last century to approximately 19,000 today.

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jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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