Caribou numbers declining in Alaska and Canada
Hello, and welcome back to The Plight of Arctic Wildlife. Previously we’ve covered polar bears, narwhals, seals, and walruses — today we’re going to tackle caribou. (Well, not literally.) After years of steady growth, Alaska’s largest caribou herd lost 20 percent of its population between 2003 and 2007, according to the latest count. The Western Arctic Caribou Herd now numbers 377,000. Other herds in Alaska and Canada are also thinning. “Taken collectively, these declines may merely be coincidence,” says caribou researcher Jim Dau. “Alternatively, we may be entering a phase when conditions throughout North America are less favorable for caribou than during the past 30 years.” So to speak.