Mountain Caribou Initiative

A Visual Journey into the Imperiled World of an Endangered Species

 

Last Stand: The Vanishing Caribou Rainforest

Watch the trailer for our documentary film on this story. Screenings will start in late June 2017. Learn more at LastStandFilm.org.

 

_MG_0260 Less than 15 caribou remain in the herd that crosses back and forth between the United States and Canada in the Pacific Northwest and herds across the southern range of this unique eco-type of caribou are disappearing quickly. The population is estimated at less than 1500 across all of British Columbia.
_10B0687 The remote and beautiful landscapes that mountain caribou find refuge in is under continued pressure from human resource extraction and recreation activities.

In the summer of 2015 I launched a new photography and conservation project, revolving around the crumbling world of mountain caribou in western Canada and the northwestern continental United States. As their habitat has been steadily altered or destroyed by a myriad of human activities, mountain caribou have been declining rapidly. Unsure of whether this project would be documentation of the end of a distinct ecotype of this iconic species or possibly a step along the path to inspiring the change in human behavior that will need to happen to save these animals, I set out to learn about and capture images of these reclusive animals across the Selkirk, Columbia and Rocky mountains in British Columbia and Alberta.

A Problem with No Easy Answers

_10B9872 Despite the clear link between caribou decline and industrial logging, timber harvest of old growth forests continue in mountain caribou habitat in places in British Columbia.

What I have discovered so far is a compelling and complicated story which is being played out in a strikingly beautiful and, in places, deeply scarred landscape. It is a story that defies easy answers for the problems we have created and one that illuminates the complicated web of ecological relationships which humans have altered in ways not easily undone—forcing us as a species to chart a new way forward as we strive to meet our own needs while attempting to preserve the biological diversity and integrity of the landscape around us.

_10B9749 Important fall and spring habitat for mountain caribou, mature stands of interior rainforest such as this one have been heavily logged throughout southern and central British Columbia, Washington, and Idaho.

My initial field trip to the region yielded some great results. I am currently seeking funding to continue the project with several follow up trips back to caribou country to capture the complicated seasonal shifts in caribou behavior over the course of a year and to explore the varying conservation challenges they face as they migrate up and down the mountains they call home which puts them in contact with everything from industrial logging operations to high elevation helicopter access backcountry ski businesses.

Follow the Journey

Click here for a collection of blogposts from my field work in mountain caribou country and follow up stories about these animals and their home.

Instagram/ View images from myself and other project collaborators on Instagram–#mountaincaribouinitiative.

Find us on Facebook at https: facebook.com/mountaincaribouinitiative

Support the Effort

Interested in helping get the products from this project out to a larger audience? Contact me with ideas and opportunities for publications and slideshows.

beaLogoInterested in financially supporting this project? This project is now officially sponsored by the Blue Earth AllianceDonations made through Blue Earth Alliance to the project are tax deductible. For the Mountain Caribou Project page at Blue Earth Alliance click here (For larger contributions, contact David directly so we can avoid fees associated with online payments).

 

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Donate Now!

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Make a tax deductible donation today through Blue Earth Alliance. For the Mountain Caribou Project page at Blue Earth Alliance click here (For larger contributions, contact David directly so we can avoid fees associated with online payments).

Mountain Caribou on Seattle Public Radio

Listen to a seven minute radio interview David Moskowitz did with KUOW's radio show The Record on mountain caribou conservation.

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