Barren-ground Caribou

Barren-ground Caribou (credit: GNWT)
Barren-ground Caribou (Caribou [Barren-ground population])
Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus
NWT List of Species at Risk: 
NWT SARC Assessment: 
Federal Species at Risk Act list: 
Under Consideration
COSEWIC Assessment: 
NWT General Status Rank: 
At Risk

Barren-ground caribou are members of the deer family. In the fall, mature male barren-ground caribou have a striking white neck and mane and a distinct band along the flank separating the brown back from the white belly.  Their colours are more faded during the winter. Compared to boreal caribou and northern mountain caribou, barren-ground caribou are smaller with shorter legs and a shorter face. Compared to Peary caribou and Dolphin and Union caribou, barren-ground caribou are larger and the velvet covering their antlers is brown instead of grey.

Barren-ground caribou in the NWT form nine herds: Porcupine, Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula, Cape Bathurst, Bluenose-West, Bluenose-East, Bathurst, Beverly, Ahiak, and Qamanirjuaq. The national assessment of barren-ground caribou as Threatened includes the Porcupine herd but the NWT assessment and listing do not.

Weight: Females, 85 to 135 kg (187 to 298 lb). Males, 100 to 140 kg (220 to 309 lb).

More information on barren-ground caribou in the NWT can be found on the Government of the Northwest Territories, Department of Environment and Natural Resources' website.