The Caribou, also called caribou in North America, which is a large species of wintry animal, is an indigenous species of deer with seasonal distribution, most of them residing in tundra, sub-arctic, and arctic areas of north, south, and mid-west. It includes both migratory and sedentary populations. They are categorized as species of Neotoma/Civet which has a long history of stable population, due to low hunting pressure. In fact, the Caribou’s numbers have been increasing in some parts of the world for the past 50 years. As of this writing, there are around 700 Caribou across portions of four provinces in Canada. These include Labrador, Quebec, Ontario, and New Brunswick.
Life cycle A Caribou’s life cycle starts from conception and birth of both mother and father. During pregnancy, a Caribou gives birth to up to eight calves who are born with black fur. The young survive in winter on forested platforms in search of food and water. Caribou calves become sexually mature at one year of age, after which they begin to wander to the southern parts of their ranges. They travel on inland waters and trek to the tundra.
Mother Nature A Caribou’s diet consists mainly of plant materials such as seeds, nuts, berries, leafy vegetables, and grass. The young stay with the mother for about one year, after which they return to the same area or another to look for food. These young start to hunt for themselves as they grow up. Other activities include walking, swimming, snorkeling, and climbing. They also travel by night, looking for carrion and bugs.
Mother Nature rarely favors Caribou reproduction, especially during the wintertime. This is because their natural environments, which consist mostly of swampy, acidic soils, are poor in nutrients. They therefore become less active and weaker. They also become very cold and inactive. Their white fur and thick blubber prevent them from moving quickly; thus, even if they do manage to move, they often get bogged down in the mud.
A female Caribou’s energy is primarily focused on producing milk for her calf. This is why she hibernates during the winter. Although she will still be able to produce young during the spring time, it will take much longer due to lack of warmth. Caribou mothers also spend most of their time on the ice. They give milk to their young once they are old enough to eat it.
A Caribou’s mating and pregnancy process take about two weeks. After the gestation period, a single Caribou will usually give birth to up to eight calves. Mother caribous raise their young by holding them in burrows until they can walk. The young leave the burrows when they are approximately one-year-old. Female caribou give birth to up to eight lactating infants, which weigh between four and ten pounds at birth.