Arrow Lakes Caribou Society said the new caribou pen near the Nakusp Hotsprings is close to completion. (Submitted)

Arrow Lakes Caribou Society said the new caribou pen near the Nakusp Hotsprings is close to completion. (Submitted)

Maternity caribou pen near Nakusp inches closer to fruition

While Nakusp recently approved the project’s lease, caribou captures are delayed due to COVID-19

The Village of Nakusp recently approved the lease agreement for a new maternity caribou pen.

The 10-hectare project is on a property north of the Nakusp Hot Spring and the land is owned by the village.

READ MORE: ‘If we do nothing, the herd will certainly be extirpated’: Caribou maternity pen proposed in Nakusp

Of the six caribou herds south of Highway 1, the central Selkirk herd is the last one remaining. Caribou numbers in this herd have plummeted 89 per cent in the last 20 years from 230 animals to 24.

While the B.C. government protected 300, 000 hectares of core habitat from logging and mining in 2008, animal numbers continue to dwindle.

According to the B.C. government, caribou across the province have declined from 40,000 in the early 1900s to less than 19,000 today.

The five-year penning project is being spearheaded by the Arrow Lakes Caribou Society, based on similar projects north of Revelstoke and the Klinse-Za herd in northern B.C.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Soon-to-be-extinct caribou moved north of Revelstoke

In 2013, the Klinse-Za herd had dwindled to 16 animals. The Saulteau and West Moberly First Nations built a maternity pen and seven years later the herd is now at at more than 100 animals.

“It can have a really good outcome,” said Hugh Watt, Arrow Lakes Caribou Society president.

READ MORE: B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

With a maternity pen, pregnant cows are captured in the spring during calving season. The cows are taken to an enclosed pen for giving birth, safe from predators. In July, the mom and calf are released.

The original plan was to capture caribou this April, but COVID-19 has delayed it until next year.

Watt said the pen is mostly complete, but the fence still needs to be electrified and more security added. The society is still fundraising for the project, which Watt said will cost roughly $300,000 per year to operate

The society said there will be upcoming volunteer opportunities for the project, including picking lichen, which is the main food source for caribou.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Animals

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Patios, retail shops to expand outdoor spaces in West Kelowna (PHOTO: The City of West Kelowna).
West Kelowna allows expanded patios, retail spaces

West Kelowna allows businesses to expand outdoor service areas due to pandemic restrictions

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Kate Budau’s flat tire outside of Glenmore Elementary School on Monday. (Contributed)
Kelowna mom searches for Good Samaritans who helped her change a tire

Woman looking for two dads who helped her after her tire popped in the Glenmore Elementary School drop-off area on Monday

John Wekking, Merritt Road Report - Facebook
 Coquihalla Road Report
Wildfire sparks off Coquihalla in Merritt

The wildfire is located near the Dollarama off of Highway 5

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
67 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty people in the region are hospitalized with the virus, 11 of whom are intensive care

Volunteers at the West Kelowna Salvation Army were celebrated with a special treat on Monday. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Central Okanagan community organizations celebrate volunteers

It’s Volunteer Appreciation Week and non-profits are highlighting the people who put in the work

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Lumby resident Dan Hill was at Vernon’s Polson Park to celebrate 4-20 by giving away free marijuana joints to people of age April 20, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
North Okanagan man back with free joints, cupcakes on 4-20

Dan Hill is trying to help people of age relax during a stressful April with marijuana giveaway

A lit cigarette tossed from a passing car is believed to be the cause of a grass fire which was only held to a ditch by the quick action of passersby in Salmon Arm on April 19. (Pixabay image)
Passersby fight Salmon Arm roadside grass fire believed started by flicked cigarette

Dry conditions prompt warning from resident, fire department

Most Read