From the New York Times comes another object lesson on the effects of unbalanced industrial development . . .
The battle to save the so-called gray ghosts — the only herd of caribou in the lower 48 states — has been lost.
A recent aerial survey shows that this international herd of southern mountain caribou, which spends part of its year in the Selkirk Mountains of northern Idaho and Washington near the Canadian border, has dwindled to just three animals and should be considered “functionally extinct,” experts say.
The Selkirk herd had been disappearing for the last several years.
John Bergenske posted a lengthy, rather sad article to the Wildsite website discussing the problems recovering mountain caribou herds in the southern Selkirk Mountains in Canada. (South of the border, the Selkirks shelter the sole remaining woodland caribou population in the U.S.)
Sometimes, there are just no good solutions . . .
I have been involved with mountain caribou since the 1970’s and as Wildsight since the 90’s when we first sponsored caribou research in the Purcell Mountains. It has been clear since that time that there are no simple solutions or easy answers to mountain caribou recovery.