© M. Bradley

© M. Bradley

Chetwynd – In an effort to eliminate a shortfall in funding for the 2015 Klinse-Za maternal penning program, the Peace Northern Caribou Committee (PNCC) has launched a crowdfunding campaign in hopes of raising $50,000 to help cover ongoing operational cost of the program.

Now in its second year, the project is an emergency measure recommended for the Klinse-Za caribou herd in a recovery action plan developed by West Moberly First Nations. The purpose of the penning is to protect pregnant cows and their young from excessive predation during calving season.

By implementing the project, the First Nations partners are taking steps to avert extirpation of the Klinse-Za herd and demonstrating the viability of maternal penning to help bolster other vulnerable caribou populations in the South Peace region of Northeastern BC.

A great deal of support has been provided to the project by the Province of BC, Environment Canada, West Fraser Mills, Teck Resources Ltd., Spectra Energy, TransCanada Corp., Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., the Peace Region Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, AngloAmerican and Walter Energy.

As of March 24, under the coordination of Wildlife Infometrics Inc., 11 caribou cows from the Klinse-Za herd were safely transported to the approx. 7-hectare pen to carry out their last trimester of pregnancy and deliver their calves apart from the pressures they normally face in the wild. During their stay they will be fed, monitored and guarded by First Nations shepherds to ensure their well-being. Despite being a labour of love for everyone involved, the care and attention provided to the animals does come at a significant cost.

Anyone that is interested and able to contribute to the program is encouraged to visit the campaign site.

To help people stay connected to the project the PNCC has also established a social media presence via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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