Volunteers in Kimberley are giving their support to mountain caribou.
21 people teamed up with Wildsight in December to pick food for the animals being housed in maternal pens.
The animals are contained to increase chances of calves surviving predators in the region.
Eddie Petryshen says 120 pounds of lichen have been picked so far, with 200 needed.
“They need ten days to switch from a purely lichen diet to a commercial feed diet,” Petryshen says. “So that’s what we’re involved with, the picking of that lichen, which will eventually get to the darkwoods property in Ymir.”
He says another event is planned in February to gather more food.
“Having 21 people come out to the event is hugely powerful for me,” Petryshen says. “It shows me we’re working on these things and people really care about seeing a species thrive, but also seeing an ecosystem thrive.”
Petryshen says their goal is increasing the population of the local herd.
There are only 11 caribou left in the South Selkirk herd and another 16 in the South Purcells.
The provincial and federal governments announced in November a conservation agreement to protect the region’s caribou was in the works.
(Photo of Kimberley volunteers at lichen picking event from Wildsight)
– Wildsight Conservation Coordinator, Eddie Petryshen