America’s reindeer have quietly gone extinct in the Lower 48
The last known member of the only herd to roam between Canada and the Pacific Northwest was captured and relocated earlier this year.
For the foreseeable future, the capture put an end to the Selkirk herd in the wild, which was already what biologists consider “functionally extirpated.” The herd was one of 15 isolated subpopulations of a broader group known as southern mountain caribou, which, as their name indicates, live in different landscape from the robust northern tundra herds. All 15 are shrinking, mostly because of human development that fatally altered their habitat.
Even before the recent capture, the Selkirk caribou seemed to have given up on the American portion of their range. No U.S. sightings had been confirmed since 2012, though radio collar data indicated one entered Washington in late 2014, according to a management plan by a multiagency, international group that studies the population.
Officially, predation by wolves and mountain lions were the main cause of the Selkirk herd’s collapse. But it started with humans, DeGroot said.
Canadian wildlife managers decided to capture the final Selkirk caribou after determining that one of the three counted last year — all of which wore radio collars — had been killed by predators, and the other had been missing for months and was likely dead. After the female was caught in a net shot from a helicopter, biologists sedated and transported her to a so-called maternity pen near Revelstoke, B.C.
Canada plans to begin a caribou breeding program, DeGroot said. But any release of captive-bred animals is at least four years away, he said, and it’s not clear whether they would be used to restore the Selkirk herd or another precarious one.
Caribou may be gone from the contiguous United States, but protecting their former range could provide “a fighting chance,” for their return, said Andrea Santarsiere, an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity. “Without habitat protections, the chances of us seeing caribou in the Lower 48 again is pretty slim.”
A lightning strike killed 323 reindeer, and this is the ghastly aftermathRead more: The Washington Post
MsMollyRachael Such a beautiful animal, such a shame we may lose them. 💔💔💔 MsMollyRachael Wow very out of touch and very bad research. Noooooooooo!!!!!!!!! For more context ... How very sad is this kind of news,,, What do I tell my grandchildren such a beautiful reindeer is now gone? Or just moved north
that’s because they’re sooo tasty Sacred reindeer makes great sausage. pacelattin 😢 At least the ones in Hawaii are still ok
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There are some in Leelanau county. Try to verify your stories, WaPo. BioTurboNick Hunted out of existence. chrisfayers Huh, the Reindeer population in MN was 1M in 2018.. I like my reindeer kicking and screaming. 😢😥😭 Sad What happens when the communist democrat party promotes species reduction The one I know talks about it all of the time. You can't shut him up.
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And the bees are next. Wow!! 😔 And what are we doing about it? ....hunting sucks. I will take a reindeer ...so long as it can suffer this climate Oh oh btw....that's an elk not a reindeer...TruthMatters just sayin LoL. QAnon hey news is getting better by the minute! Don't diss them unless necessary right? We are the newwws lol
Newfoundland, better I'm pretty sure that we, as a civilized & Humane race, will find other animals to kill & extinct simply for sport.
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Good point! Reintroduce reindeer!! Stop hunting to extiñction lol. That may help.. btw this news makes sense...good reporting post!! Thank Q One by one we fall... And not shouting and screaming like the passengers in their car. Florida is the lower 48- we never had reindeer. Liberalism 2019 US leaders could care less
And to think: We were taught that Bambi getting squashed was the bad news. Maybe they just wanted to be closer to Cringle
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