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Why are Woodland Caribou so special?
Woodland Caribou are an iconic species that hold national significance for many Canadians, even being shown on the 25-cent coin. They have adapted to harsh winter weather, have large hooves that act like snowshoes, and are able to survive largely on lichen – a ground organism made up of fungus and algae. They require large tracts of undisturbed natural forest to survive; and because of this, they are often seen as an indicator species for the health of the entire boreal forest. As logging and other industrial activities have further and further disturbed the forest, Woodland Caribou have been suffering.
Many will not know much about the Woodland Caribou, and only a very few will have seen this animal in person. But this unique member of the deer family, found in Canada’s boreal forest, is a remarkable animal and it is threatened with extinction, while a small group of powerful people have enormous influence over its fate.