Mountain Caribou are an ecotype of British Columbia’s woodland caribou population. They are globally unique, being the world’s southern-most caribou population. Both males and females grow antlers, and their hooves are similar in size to moose, but are much more rounded. Mountain Caribou live in mountainous terrain and feed on lichens grown on trees during the winter months. It is thought that Caribou populations have declined due to habitat fragmentation, increased predators, disturbance and climate change. If mountain caribou are encountered, do not approach them. If they are close, shut off your snowmobile and wait for them to leave of their own accord.
Best Operating Practices in Wildlife Habitat
- Make every effort to research an area before snowmobiling there, including looking for local maps and other information pertinent to snowmobiling in that location.
- Don’t ride in areas designated closed to snowmobiling.
- Obey all posted signs.
- If wildlife is encountered, refrain from approaching.
- Stay on your snowmobile.
- If wildlife is encountered on a road or designated trail, turn off the engine and remain on your sled. Wait until the wildlife have moved off the road or trail before continuing and make every effort to stay as far away from the wildlife as safely possible.
- If wildlife is encountered in a play area, don’t approach them. Shut down your machine to give the animals a chance to move away, then leave the area and refrain from riding with sight of the wildlife.
- If wildlife tracks are observed, don’t follow the tracks.
- Ride only where the snow is deeper than 30cm.
- It’s okay to take photographs of wildlife if from a respectful and safe distance.
- These practices, in relation to caribou, are detailed in the Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Management of Snowmobiling Mountain Caribou Habitats.
- Closures listed below are Jan 1 to Apr 15 inclusive
Government Site for Closures: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/