Where to Find Caribou

Where to Find Caribou

Caribou are the only members of the deer family to live exclusively in the northern hemisphere. These magnificent creatures can be found in boreal and tundra regions of both North America and Eurasia. They are also known as reindeer, depending on the region. The name “caribou” comes from the Mi’kmaq language and translates to “the one who paws the ground”.

North America

In North America, caribou can be found in the northern parts of the United States, Canada, and Alaska. The main population of caribou can be found in Canada, with the majority of them residing in the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. Smaller populations can be found in New England, the Rocky Mountains, and the Northwest US. Caribou can also be found in northern parts of Alaska, such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and in other regions such as the Adirondack Mountains of New York.


Caribou can also be found in parts of Eurasia. Their range stretches from Siberia and northern Russia all the way to Norway. Some of the more notable areas that caribou can be found include the Kola Peninsula in Russia, the Lofoten Islands in Norway, and the Svalbard Archipelago in the Arctic Ocean.

Behavior and Habitat

Caribou live in cold, boreal and tundra regions and can survive in temperatures as low as -50°C. They are well-adapted to the cold and have thick fur to keep them warm in the winter. The fur of caribou is also unique in that it changes color in the winter, from a light brown in the summer to a darker brown in the winter.

Caribou are also well-known for their migrations, which can cover hundreds of miles in a single season. They migrate in search of food and new grazing grounds, as well as to find mates. The most famous migration of caribou is the Porcupine caribou herd, which migrates every year between Alaska and Canada’s Yukon Territory.

Conservation Status

Caribou are currently listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This is due to their declining population numbers, which have been affected by deforestation, climate change, and other human activities. It is estimated that the current population of caribou is around 5 million. Efforts are being made to protect the species, including the establishment of protected areas and the implementation of conservation measures.

Caribou are an important species worldwide and are a key part of many ecosystems. It is important to continue to protect them and ensure their future survival. If you’re looking to see caribou in the wild, you can find them in northern parts of North America and Eurasia.

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