Boreal Caribou

Boreal caribou designatable unit (DU6) primarily use large peatlands and open forest throughout the year. Currently a minimum of 728 boreal caribou occupy five herd (range) areas in northeast British Columbia.

Boreal caribou have a unique spatial strategy for calving, with females dispersing widely to calve on their own. These pre-calving movements usually happen within a herd’s annual range and are much shorter than the long-distance migrations of other caribou populations.

These caribou are listed as threatened under the federal Species at Risk Act, are provincially red-listed (threatened to endangered), and are identified as Priority 1 under the B.C. Conservation Framework.


Boreal caribou populations are believed to have declined since the early 2000s.

The decline of boreal caribou in British Columbia may be attributed to:

  • Habitat loss
  • Habitat fragmentation and alteration
  • Increased predation resulting from forestry and petroleum and natural gas activities

For more information on threats to boreal caribou read Science Update - Boreal Caribou in B.C. (PDF, 1.5MB)


To reduce the expected decline of the boreal caribou, a number of actions have been taken. 550,000 hectares of resource review areas (RRA) and enabling habitat restoration and mitigation actions have been established within boreal caribou range. An implementation plan has also been developed which will guide boreal caribou management.

A Revised Draft of the Boreal Caribou Recovery and Implementation Plan was made available for public review and comment until May 30, 2017 at govTogetherBC, the hub for government engagement opportunities in British Columbia. The review period is currently closed, but the Revised Draft of the Boreal Caribou Recovery and Implementation Plan is still available to the public.

The following documents summarize the current state of the boreal caribou population and their habitats:

Program Management

To support the implementation of the management plan, teams were assembled to provide on-going strategic and technical guidance.

Recovery Management

The following resources provide information about the activities to preserve and manage the boreal caribou population.

Habitat Management Forestry Activities

Petroleum and Natural Gas Activities

Habitat Restoration