The Caribou Monitoring Unit (CMU) was developed to support woodland caribou recovery in Canada. The CMU works with academics, industry, Indigenous communities, and government to facilitate applied research and provide scientific expertise to evaluate and monitor caribou recovery options.

Habitat loss is a leading cause of species endangerment. In Canada, habitat loss has been linked to declines of woodland caribou.

New research lead by the Caribou Monitoring Unit has found that caribou populations have lost twice as much habitat as they gained during a 12-year period (2000–2012). Forest cutting was a major cause of habitat loss for Southern Mountain Caribou, whereas wildfire was the greatest source of habitat loss for other ecotypes (Boreal and Northern Caribou). In addition, the creation of linear features that fragment habitat, such as roads and seismic lines, outpaced the regrowth and recovery of these lines.

These patterns have continued to occur while various provincial and federal plans and policies are seeking to conserve and recover woodland caribou habitat, including the federal woodland caribou recovery strategies under the federal Species at Risk Act, the Mountain Caribou Recovery Implementation Plan in British Columbia, and Alberta’s Woodland Caribou Recovery Plan.

CMU in the Media

Featured Projects

Defining Functional Habitat Recovery

“Habitat restoration is a core element for recovery, but how do we know when habitat is restored? …

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Prioritizing Areas for Restoration in the Oil Sands

Over 100,000 km of seismic lines have been cut across Alberta’s Oil Sands Area…

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From Research to Recovery

During the 1990s, the main focus of the Columbia Mountains Caribou Research Project was researching caribou ecology and 

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Reports & Publications

Find out more about our research and findings in our reports. These can be searched on the Reports & Publications page:

Our Partners & Funders

Without the support of these wonderful people, the work we do would simply not be possible.