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Scientists find herd of 'lost' caribou in Saskatchewan

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Scientists find herd of 'lost' caribou in Saskatchewan

Old 11-20-2011, 01:32 PM
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Default Scientists find herd of 'lost' caribou in Saskatchewan

A vast herd of northern caribou that scientists feared had vanished from the face of the Earth has been found, safe and sound -- pretty much where aboriginal elders said it would be all along.

"The Beverly herd has not disappeared," said John Nagy, lead author of a recently published study that has biologists across the North relieved.

Those scientists were shaken by a 2009 survey on the traditional calving grounds of the Beverly herd, which ranges over a huge swath of tundra from northern Saskatchewan to the Arctic coast. A herd that once numbered 276,000 animals seemed to have completely disappeared, the most dramatic and chilling example of a general decline in barren-ground caribou.

But Nagy's research -- and consultation with the communities that live with the animals -- concludes differently.

His work springs from recent studies that question the long-held theory that caribou always return to the same calving ground. It holds that different herds use different grounds, and that's what sets them apart.

Read more: http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/lo...b=EdmontonHome
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