Climate Change Could Be Influencing World’s Greatest Terrestrial Migrations – National Parks Traveler


Caribou crossing the Noatak River/NPS, Kyle JolyIt is a spectacle of the animal kingdom, one most of us don’t see in person, but are amazed when it is shown on television. “It” is the crossing of the Kobuk River far north in Alaska by hundreds of caribou. It is a swim caribou have been making in the landscape of present-day Kobuk Valley National Park and Preserve for thousands of years.

“I’m a very lucky person to have the job that I do and to see what I get to see,” admits Kyle Joly, a wildlife biologist for the National Park Service whose “office” embraces the landscapes of such places as Kobuk Valley, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, and Noatak National Preserve.

Kobuk Valley has been “the home of caribou migrations for 10,000 years. There’s an archaeological site there that’s dated hunting of caribou back that far,” Joly went on. “The river is probably a quarter-mile wide at that point, and there will be times when you have several hundred animals on the shore. You’ll have caribou nose-to-tail all the way across the river, and a couple hundred more piled up on the south bank. It’s definitely a wildlife spectacle that is on par with anything on the globe.”

That spectacle, of hundreds and even thousands of caribou traveling en masse, is a wonder of nature. It is also at times the longest migration on Earth, a claim that reindeer also can make.

“Most people don’t know this, but caribou and reindeer are actually the same species,” Joly said. “Caribou are found in North America and reindeer are found in Europe and Asia, but they’re the same species and they can interbreed freely. That species, both caribou and reindeer, have the longest terrestrial migrations on the planet, with a number of populations migrating 1200-1350 kilometers (745-839 miles) in a year.”

via Climate Change Could Be Influencing World’s Greatest Terrestrial Migrations

Wolf cull: B.C. would target 80% of wolves in caribou recovery areas | Vancouver Sun

The objective of this wolf reduction program is to reverse caribou population decline in the Tweedsmuir-Entiako, Hart Ranges, and Itcha-Ilgachuz herds,” says a memo signed by Darcy Peel, director of the B.C. Caribou Recovery Program. “To reverse caribou population declines, high rates of wolf removal (>80%) must be achieved.”

The Tweedsmuir-Entiako and Itcha-Ilgachuz herds are in the central part of the province, roughly east of Bella Coola and west of Quesnel, while the Hart Ranges herd is near the Alberta border, east of Prince George.

A parallel cull is also proposed for the Itcha-Ilgachuz herd area to “remove cougars that have likely begun to focus on caribou as a prey source.”

A 30-day consultation with Indigenous communities and “targeted stakeholders” is underway.
via Wolf cull: B.C. would target 80% of wolves in caribou recovery areas | Vancouver Sun

Bow Valley wolf pack ‘behaving well’ –


BANFF – With a few blows and setbacks, the Bow Valley wolf pack seems to be keeping out of harm’s way for the most part over the busy summer tourist season.

The pack, which lost a male and female yearling in two separate strikes on the Trans-Canada Highway earlier this year, has been roaming between Lake Louise and east towards Canmore navigating the busy valley that attracts more than four million tourists.

Parks Canada wildlife officials say the pack took down a collared elk on the slopes of Mount Norquay about a week-and-a-half-ago, and five of the six wolves believed to make up the pack were spotted there.

Jesse Whittington, wildlife biologist with Banff National Park, said it’s believed the pack consists of the breeding pair, a yearling and three pups.
via Bow Valley wolf pack ‘behaving well’ –

Wolf killed in Banff along Trans-Canada Highway –

BANFF – A female wolf from the Bow Valley wolf pack was struck and killed by a vehicle along the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff National Park on Saturday (Aug. 10).

According to Parks Canada, the RCMP spotted the dead wolf along the eastbound lanes of the highway between the Sunshine Village access road and the Bow Valley Parkway interchange around 6:45 a.m.

“It had been hit sometime in the early hours of that morning because rigor mortis had set in a little bit,” said Dan Rafla, a human-wildlife co-existence specialist with Parks Canada.

He said it would have been difficult for the driver to spot the wolf because it was raining that evening and the wolf had black fur.
via Wolf killed in Banff along Trans-Canada Highway –

Wolf euthanized follow attack at Banff campground | Calgary Herald

The camper was inside a tent at Rampart Creek campground on the Icefields Parkway when the attack happened around 1 a.m.

The camper’s hand and arm were injured. After reporting the incident, the camper was transferred to hospital.

Parks Canada said in a statement that no significant wildlife attractants or food were found inside the tent or the immediate vicinity.

The wolf believed to be involved was found about one kilometre south of the campground, which was closed pending an investigation.

“Incidents like these are very rare,” Parks Canada stated. “Visitor safety is of the utmost importance for Parks Canada . . . Parks Canada continues to monitor wildlife activity in the area and will take further steps if necessary, however this appears to be an isolated incident.”
via Wolf euthanized follow attack at Banff campground | Calgary Herald

Wolves not gnawing into Island’s prey population – Victoria News


A recent wolf sighting in Campbell River raised questions about the animal’s conservation status on Vancouver Island, and whether wolves are responsible for reduced numbers of animals including deer and marmots.

Chris Darimont, a leading wolf expert and Raincoast Research Chair at the University of Victoria, says there’s no immediate threat to wolf populations on Vancouver Island, and forestry practices, not wolf populations, are to blame for a decline in animals such as deer.

“They’re a convenient scapegoat,” Darimont said in an interview. “But decades of research… reveal very little evidence that wolves cause declines in prey populations.”

via Wolves not gnawing into Island’s prey population – Victoria News

Two Banff National Park wolf packs likely decimated by trappers | The Narwhal

In January, Craig Comstock did what he’s done many times over the years — loaded his two dogs into his vehicle and drove from his home in Calgary to the backcountry for a day hike.Comstock, 44, is an avid outdoorsman — he hikes, fishes and hunts pheasants and partridges — but none of that prepared him for what he found in the bush.First, he came across two dead foxes and a dead wolf.“Their heads had been cut off, their feet had been cut off and they had been skinned,” he told The Narwhal, noting that he also saw “several piles of bait meat.”Then, as he walked on, he felt the prickly sensation of being watched. His eyes met those of a wolf, just 10 metres away. It was huge, he said — much, much bigger than his own dogs.

Source: Two Banff National Park wolf packs likely decimated by trappers | The Narwhal