Today, wild reindeer (referred to as caribou in Canada) live in Norway, the Markku region of Finland, Siberia, Greenland, Alaska and Canada. But caribou and reindeer numbers worldwide have plunged almost 60% in the last three decades.
In 2010, Dr. Jeff Wells has been quoted in various media to say that
By the early 1900s, caribou disappeared from the U.S. side of the Great Lakes and most of the Rocky Mountains. In Ontario, the species range has retracted at a rate of two miles a year, resulting in the loss of half of the province’s woodland caribou range; 60 percent has been lost in Alberta, and 40 percent in British Columbia.
More recently, massive declines in the numbers of the barren-ground, long-distance migratory caribou have been recorded, some herds dropping by as much as 90 percent. Much of the decline in caribou populations is due to industrial development, but many scientists also point to global warming as a culprit.
Setting aside large tracts of land free from industrial development is the best chance for caribou survival in many regions.
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