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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Whether it be industrial development, ski trail cuts or snowmobile trails invading previously uncut forest regions,,,,,,,,,,,,,,all contribute to Caribou herd declines by allowing both deer and Wolves to emigrate into their(caribou) homegrounds...........There is some hope that by increasing "no snowmobile" acreage in the South Purcell Mountains in British Columbia and simultaneously tranplanting additional Caribou into the region,,,,,,the herd might be stabilized..............Let us hope that there is some improvement or the human killers will be called in to dispatch and reduce wolf numbers in the region

Snowmobile tracks used by wolves to hunt threatened mountain caribou

e duggan

The Valhalla Wilderness Society says that snowmobilers may be creating
"sidewalks" in the snow that give wolves easier access to the
threatened species

Snowmobilers buzzing through mountain caribou habitat in southeastern
B.C. are giving wolves easier access to the threatened species, a
director of the Valhalla Wilderness Society says.

"Predators have a sidewalk up to that habitat," said Craig Pettitt,
whose concerns arise from a recent B.C. Ministry of Environment report
which says there is rampant snowmobile use in the critical winter
habitat of the south Purcells herd, near Cranbrook.
Mountain caribou, an ecotype of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus
caribou) are a threatened species in southeastern British Columbia,
and it is believed that the south Purcell's herd's numbers have
dropped to 15.

According to the Ministry of Environment website, government has
closed some areas where mountain caribou are found to snowmobile use
since 1999 to support population recovery, but Pettitt says most of
the closures are only partial, and allow snowmobiles to use roads and
cutblocks in surrounding areas.

"This allows the machines to pack down the snow over extensive areas,
and the packed snow gives wolves easy access to caribou areas,"
Pettitt said, adding that many of the closures are also voluntary.
In January and February — prime snowmobiling months — pregnant caribou
cows could be driven from their territory by snowmobilers during a
crucial time for the herd, says Pettitt.

Planned increases to the legally restricted areas are expected to help
protect the incoming herd, but a lot of the best feeding territory for
caribou hasn't been protected, Pettitt says, with snowmobilers
favouring the same high slopes where tree lichen grows — a
nearly-exclusive staple in the mountain caribou's diet.
In 15 research flights over the south Purcells from 2008 through 2010,
Ministry researchers recorded snowmobile activity in 71 restricted
basins, according to the report titled Winter Recreational Activities
in Mountain Caribou Habitat.

The report comes as the Ministry of Environment is planning to bring
40 Mountain caribou from Dease Lake in northwestern B.C. to the south
Purcell Mountains to boost the south Purcell herd. The hope is that
the new animals brought from the north will give the Purcell herd a
chance at long-term survival.

Twenty caribou are scheduled to arrive by truck in mid-March, followed
by another 20 in 2013, said Steve Gordon, strategic resource manager,
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, which is
leading the $200,000 transfer.

Cooperation with local and provincial snowmobile associations has been
agreeable, Gordon said. "The clubs have stepped up in terms of their
stewardship."However, the ministry report said that in spite of cooperation by the
Cranbrook Snowmobile Club which posted closure signage and promoted
awareness among its members, the problem of snowmobilers using
restricted areas remains.

Conservation officers will issue a ticket to offenders who don't
comply, and planned aerial surveillance by the Ministry should help
convince snowmobilers to stick to the permitted areas, Gordon said.
As well, some of the south Purcells herd will be outfitted with GPS
collars which will notify researchers if they start shifting into
habitat that isn't protected, or if they get killed by predators such
as wolves — which could face culls if they start killing the new
caribou. Some wolves will also be fitted with GPS collars to monitor
the situation.

"We'll know where [the caribou] are going," Gordon said in reference
to the GPS collars, noting that changes can be made to the boundaries
of any restricted areas if "overlap" with snowmobilers becomes a

The province's total population of mountain caribou has dropped from
around 2,500 before 1995, to around 1,850 today, due to a loss of
habitat, food supply, and booming wolf and cougar populations.

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