Native to both Newfoundland and Labrador.
Caribou prefer mostly barren land during the summer months, moving to areas of mixed forests during the colder months.
The caribous range extends from the boreal forests of Newfoundland to British Columbia. The George River Herd moves between the forest and tundra in Quebec and Labrador. This is the largest herd in Canada, numbering at approximately 500,000 caribou.
Caribou are herbivores. Their main food source is lichens, which gives caribou an advantage in the more harsh northern areas of its range where vegetation is scarce. The common "caribou moss" is actually a type of lichen (Cladonia rangiferina), which is a major food for caribou. Caribou also eat vegetation such as grasses, sedges, birch and willow leaves, and mosses.
The wolf is the greatest natural predator of the caribou and, for thousands of years, has been known to follow migrating caribou herds, killing mostly the aged, injured or weak animals. Caribou are also an important food source for Canadians, in particular native communities throughout the north.
About 15 years.
The caribou's body is dark brown, with lighter patches around the neck and rump, and white above each hoof. All males and some females have dark velvety antlers that are flattened and project forward. The males shed their antlers in November or December, after mating, while the females and young may carry their's through the winter months. Caribou have large, concave hooves that are ideal for traveling over snow or soft ground, and for digging in search of snow-covered lichens. The hooves are sharply edged for ice travel and are wide to serve as paddles when swimming.
Caribou mate around mid-October and males can have many mates. After a gestation period of about 230 days the calf is born in May/June. The calf is weaned after about two months and joins the herd in the fall migration. Male caribou begin to mate around the age of 1.5 years.
Average weight is (400 lbs)(180 kg) for males; (300 lbs)(135 kg) for females. Height of about (3.5 - 4 ft)(1.05 - 1.2 m). Antlers may spread up to (5 ft)(1.5 m) wide.