Woodland Caribou
Woodland Caribou Canada’s Boreal is the only place on Earth where you can find forest-dwelling woodland caribou. © Ami Vitale

Stories in Canada

Canada's Reindeer

Protecting the last of the best herds of woodland caribou

When it comes to reindeer, most of us picture Rudolph dashing across the frozen North Pole. But a lesser-known cousin called woodland caribou dwell deep in Canada's Boreal Forest—and they're just as magical as Santa's variety.

Sadly, dwindling old-growth forests have led to declining populations across Canada, and boreal caribou are now considered a species threatened with extinction.

In response, TNC Canada is safeguarding 10 woodland caribou herds in northwest Manitoba by mapping out where they have the best chance at a future and working with Indigenous peoples, government and industry to conserve these priority areas.

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Manitoba is home to the last of the best herds of woodland caribou in Canada.

To better understand the situation, the Boreal Leadership Council, of which TNC Canada is a partner, undertook an inventory and analysis of the various Indigenous research projects, monitoring programs, planning and management being conducted across the region. The resulting report concluded traditional knowledge is an essential element to successful caribou management.

By mapping large forest tracts that can be resilient to climate change, TNC Canada is working to conserve 10  herds in northwestern Manitoba, a region that contains the healthiest herds of forest-dwelling woodland caribou in Canada and some of the largest frontier forests remaining on Earth.