Photo: David Moskowitz

After years of delay, caribou need your help

After more than four years of delay, ​​we’re calling on Canada and British Columbia to protect southern mountain caribou habitat in B.C. and save our last deep-snow herds. Use our pre-written letter to add your voice to the movement. Logging has no place in the wild and globally significant forests that these iconic animals rely upon to survive.

B.C. has one year left to deliver on the promises it made under the Section 11 agreement it signed with Canada to support southern mountain caribou recovery, including to increase protection of their habitat. Now is the time to push our governments to action, before it’s too late.

Logging, and the road building that comes with it, is one of the single biggest threats to the future of B.C’s southern mountain caribou, particularly its deep-snow herds. It is rapidly destroying and fragmenting their last remaining refuges — the core habitat in which they forage, breed and migrate year-after-year.

In the four years since the Section 11 agreement was signed, two more of B.C.’s deep-snow caribou herds have been lost. Yet the province continues to allow industrial logging in the core habitat of the 10 deep-snow herds that remain, all of which are at risk of local extinction. For some, like the Columbia North herd, north of Revelstoke, as little as one third of their core habitat is protected.

B.C. has the power to issue an interim moratorium on logging and road building in all core southern mountain caribou habitat. This would buy time for critical habitat mapping to be completed and publicly released, and permanent protections to be put in place for 100% of the Southern Group’s (see fast facts below) core habitat. For that to happen, politicians need to be aware of the will of the people, both in B.C. and across the country. Will you join us in calling for change?


A clear-cut in an old-growth valley in the core habitat of the endangered Columbia North deep-snow caribou herd. The area, about 110 km north of Revelstoke, B.C., was logged in early 2021.


Fast facts to consider

  • In 2005, B.C. had 18 deep-snow caribou herds. Today, 10 remain, all of which are at risk of local extinction. Of the Kootenay and Columbia region herds (known as the southern group), only two remain: the Central Selkirks and Columbia North herds.
  • The federal government’s 2014 southern mountain caribou recovery plan recommends that less than 35% of a herd’s range should be disturbed; in core habitat, it should be as close as possible to zero. In the Columbia North herd’s range, 37% of core habitat is disturbed. In the neighbouring Groundhog herd, more than 45% of core habitat is disturbed.
  • The federal recovery plan also sets recommended protection levels for core caribou habitat. For many of B.C.’s deep-snow herds, current levels are below those recommendations; only 35% of the Columbia North herd’s core habitat is protected, despite the recovery plan recommendation of 100%.
  • The federal government’s southern mountain caribou critical habitat maps have been in draft form since 2014. This has significantly delayed efforts to assess and protect core habitat. In this void, B.C. created its own maps, which were finalized and publicly released in 2021, before being taken down again. In spring of 2023, Wildsight filed an FOI request for the provincial maps. Several months later we were denied access, with the province citing that the publicly produced maps, if released, would harm “intergovernmental relations or negotiations”.