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2016-10-03. America’s Gray Ghosts: The Disappearing Caribou.

posted Oct 4, 2016, 2:12 PM by Alan Gould
By Jim Robbins, The New York Times. For GSS Losing Biodiversity chapter 2. Excerpt: BONNERS FERRY, Idaho — The only caribou left in the contiguous United States are here in northern Idaho where they number about a dozen and live deep in the forests of the jagged Selkirk Mountains, near the Canadian border. Because they are so rarely seen, the caribou — America’s version of reindeer — are known as gray ghosts. ...For decades, the forest has been fragmented by clear-cutting, road building, oil development and mining. Where the forest has grown back, it is dominated by willows and other small trees favored by moose, deer and elk. In 2009, wolf numbers began surging in southern British Columbia, northern Idaho and northeastern Washington, drawn to the abundant prey. The population of mountain caribou dived, including the Selkirk herd, which then numbered about 50. Wolves focus primarily on moose and deer, but in the last two years, wolves have killed two caribou in the Selkirks; cougars killed another one. Yet another was killed by a car on Highway 3 in Canada, where salt on the road lures wildlife....  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/04/science/endangered-caribou-idaho-british-columbia.html