Threats to the Porcupine Caribou Herd

Currently the future size, condition, and ultimately the survival of the Porcupine Caribou herd may be under threat. While naturally occuring threats to the herd do exist (including predation, parasites, and disease), it is human induced threats that are of greatest concern.


Caribou are most vulnerable during calving, therefore the preservation of their calving grounds should be of utmost importance in terms of preserving the integrity of the herd. As such, a large portion of the calving grounds have been protected in both Alaska (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) and the Yukon (Ivvavik and Vuntut National Parks). However, the current American government are eager to initiate oil and gas exploration and development within the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Any disturbance during the calving area can result in the disapperance of concentrated calving or the reduction of calf productivity in caribou that do not avoid such disturbances.

Another issue of growing concern, is the threat of climate change. Changes to temperature, snow depth, the timing of snowmelt and associated increases of pests can all result in a decrease in the condition of the herd.
  Group 8 : Brandi Smithson : Anthony Jjumba : Geog 351 : Fall 06