Species At Risk

Caribou Field Notes

How do we learn more about endangered species so we can better protect them? Biologists and researchers from the ministry and our partners do exciting work studying species at risk and finding out about how they live and what they need to survive and thrive.

Follow our researchers – and the caribou we study – in this section.


In the Field with Woodland Caribou

Ontario is conducting leading-edge research on the woodland caribou, in partnership with academic institutions and industry organizations. We’re learning how these animals respond to human and natural disturbances, and what factors drive changes in caribou population.

Field Notes

Gerry Racey, Senior Science Specialist, Ministry of Natural Resources

"Most of what we need to do for good caribou habitat management is the same as what we need for do for a viable forest industry in the future; it’s all good forest management with a focus on future forest condition."
Gerry Racey, Senior Science Specialist, Ministry of Natural Resources

Dr. James Schaefer, Professor of Biology, Trent University, Member of the Provincial Caribou Technical Committee

"The essence of caribou is scale. Vast landscapes, old forests – these are the building blocks of caribou habitat and caribou conservation. Keeping this animal means adopting a caribou's
eye view."

Dr. James Schaefer, Professor of Biology, Trent University, Member of the Provincial Caribou Technical Committee

Jennifer Chikoski, Senior Policy Advisor, Ministry of Natural Resources

"I help develop policy for protecting the forest-dwelling woodland caribou in Ontario. It takes combining what we know about the caribou and the boreal forest to find out how to protect caribou and maintain the way of life of northern Ontario. This is as exciting and as challenging as policy work can get."
Jennifer Chikoski, Senior Policy Advisor, Ministry of Natural Resources


Leading Edge Caribou Research

Progress Report
Read about the progress we’ve made to protect caribou. (PDF)

Photo Journals

Photo Journals
Tag along as we learn more about some of Ontario’s most vulnerable species and their habitats.

Caribou Conservation Plan Fact Sheet

Caribou Conservation Plan Fact Sheet
See the highlights of Ontario’s plan to protect the woodland caribou

In the Field

In the Field
Follow our researchers and the caribou they study.

Caribou Movement Patterns map

Caribou Movement Patterns map
See where all our collared caribou have travelled across Ontario! (pdf)


Caribou Research Video
Hear from one of our leading scientists about research into caribou in the far northern Ontario

See things from a caribou's point of view!

Check out footage from our "caribou cams' – video cameras on collars we’ve fitted on wild caribou to learn more about how they live.

Video 1: Watch with Mom as a newborn calf takes its first steps.

Video 2: Take a swim with a caribou.

Video 3: Hoof it through the snow with two caribou.

Video 4: See what a caribou eats for lunch.


Learn more about "caribou cams" - expand for more information

Caribou Cams

These videos were recorded using wildlife telemetry Global Positioning System collars (a technology used to remotely track caribou) that have been modified to include a high definition video camera. Cameras are programmed to record 10 seconds of video every hour, which are stored on a video card inside the collar. Each collar is equipped with a “drop-off” mechanism, which is programmed to release the collar from the caribou’s neck at a pre-determined date. After collars drop off, researchers must retrieve them from their “drop-off” sites to download and analyze the recorded videos.

Camera collars have been placed on 36 woodland caribou living in northern Ontario forests since 2010 to obtain detailed information on seasonal diet and feeding behaviour.

The videos are also providing valuable information on other behaviours, such as calving, movement patterns, social interactions and habitat selection.

The development and placement of these collars were jointly sponsored by researchers at the Canadian Forest Service, the Ministry of Natural Resources Centre for Northern Forest Ecosystem Research, and the University of Guelph.

The camera components were engineered and manufactured by Exeye LLC. (Bristow, Virginia) and installed on collars provided by Lotek Wireless Inc. (Newmarket, Ontario).


The Endangered Species Act


Contact your local ministry office


Often the best source of local information on species at risk is your nearest ministry office. Call with your questions or concerns.