Across the tundra 1,000 miles to the east, Canada's Beverly herd, numbering more than 200,000 a decade ago, can barely be found today.[...]
From wildlife spectacle to wildlife mystery, the decline of the caribou — called reindeer in the Eurasian Arctic — has biologists searching for clues, and finding them.
They believe the insidious impact of climate change, its tipping of natural balances and disruption of feeding habits, is decimating a species that has long numbered in the millions and supported human life in Earth's most inhuman climate.
Canadian Press, 2011;
A vast herd of northern caribou that scientists feared had vanished from the face of the Earth has been found, safe and sound -- pretty much where aboriginal elders said it would be all along.
"The Beverly herd has not disappeared," said John Nagy, lead author of a recently published study that has biologists across the North relieved.
Those scientists were shaken by a 2009 survey on the traditional calving grounds of the Beverly herd, which ranges over a huge swath of tundra from northern Saskatchewan to the Arctic coast. A herd that once numbered 276,000 animals seemed to have completely disappeared, the most dramatic and chilling example of a general decline in barren-ground caribou.
"Many of the community people reported that elders think this is nothing new. Caribou move."
Hat Tip: Small Dead Animals