Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program
FIA Project 4808002

    Central Selkirk Caribou census report
Project lead: BC Timber Sales
Author: Hamilton, Dennis
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), British Columbia
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program
The Central Kootenay (Selkirk) mountain caribou population was studied using VHF radiocollars from 1992 to 2003. Population estimates were calculated using mark-resight methods when there were collard caribou in the population (1996, 1997, 1999, 2002). Total counts (animals observed + tracks) were reported for subsequent census years. This is the ninth census we have completed since 1996. Population estimates in the first three census years indicated a relatively stable population between 213 and 268 animals. The 1997 count was the highest recorded over all census years at 223 caribou, with 22 of 23 collared-caribou spotted. The ability to detect trends in the population was limited however because estimates were based on only three annual counts taken over a four year period. No censuses were conducted in 2000 or 2001 due to funding limitations. This was most unfortunate in that the population was in significant decline during this period. The 2002 census population estimate was 97 animals, a 53% decline from 1997. The 2002 census was the first year a statistically significant decline could be reported. This population decline appeared for most caribou populations in BC during these years. Census results from 2002 to the present suggest that the Central Kootenay caribou population has stabilized, albeit at <50% the population levels reported in the late 1990s. Based on generalized observations made during censuses, we suggest snowmachine use and extent has increased substantially in only a few short years. A monitoring program should be immediately implemented to support proposed backcountry recreation access planning activities recently initiated by government.


2008 Caribou Census (0.4Mb)

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Updated August 16, 2010 

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