A University of Saskatchewan professor says northern Saskatchewan could be an example of a strong woodland caribou habitat in Canada.
Philip McLoughlin, an associate professor of biology, has been studying the populations and habitats for caribou north of La Ronge, seeing if Saskatchewan followed the country’s trend in declining woodland caribou.
McLoughlin says the animal populations for the caribou have been dropping in Alberta, Manitoba and BC.
McLoughlin and his team briefly captured and tagged caribou, wolves and moose with GPS tracking devices.
They were able to tag 150 caribou and 38 wolves, and then observed their movements and interactions.
McLoughlin says they found there was a low number of moose in northern Saskatchewan, and moose and wolf populations tend to correlate.
He says the Boreal Shield portion of Saskatchewan is an ideal habitat for caribou with the low wolf population, and unlike other provinces, the woodland caribou population has increased.
McLoughlin says northern Saskatchewan’s caribou rates could be a “benchmark” for conservation and population dynamics in other provinces