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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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Friday, October 12, 2012

In an attempt to revitalize the southern Purcell Mountain(Canada) Caribou herd, 19 Caribou were transplanted from northern British Columbia during the month of March 2012...............Unfortunately, the released Caribou failed to join up with the 14 remaining Purcell Caribou----This marks the third consecutive failed attempt at rewilding------Seems that the transplanted Caribou do not engage in pack type behaviour,,,,,,,,,,,instead, each doing their own thing and fail to join the "mother herd"

Transplanted Purcell Mountain caribou fail to survive

15 of 19 transplanted animals died before winter

A caribou exits a truck into the temporary holding pen prior to its release into the Purcell Mountains in March 2012.A caribou exits a truck into the temporary holding pen prior to its release into the Purcell Mountains in March 2012. (Government of British Columbia)

An expensive plan to relocate mountain caribou from northern B.C. to the Kootenays, has failed after 15 of the 19 transplanted caribou died from accidents, predators or undetermined causes.
In March, a team from B.C.'s Ministry of Forests and Lands tried to transfer 20 caribou from a healthy herd in the Dease Lake area, about 250 kilometres south of the B.C.-Yukon border, to the endangered southern Purcell herd in the East Kootenay. The move cost about $10,000 per animal.
One of the caribou died during the move, likely from stress, and weather prevented the team from dropping the other 19 animals in a single area. Ten were put near the existing herd, but the other nine had to be dropped in a different valley.

Failed to unite with herd

The hope was that the 19 survivors would meet up and join the resident Purcell herd, which was down to 14 animals. But instead, just the opposite happened. The northern caribou fanned out, apparently looking for something."Several went into Montana, one recently went into Washington," said project leader, Steve Gordon."Whenever you are embarking on a transplant like this, it's a risky endeavour. It's kind of a critical intervention to try and restore this herd. We didn't anticipate this level of mortality though," said Gordon.

While government biologists might not have anticipated this outcome, opponents did. Moving northern caribou south has been tried before, according to Carmen Purdy, president of the Kootenay Wildlife Heritage Fund."They don't make it. The last three transplants haven't worked. Why do we keep trying the same thing over and over again?"Government biologists were going to transplant another group of caribou next spring, but with so many dead caribou, that plan is now in jeopardy.

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