Imagine you are a caribou grazing on the open tundra. It's a chilly, windy day with slight snow flurries and then you spot them. A large herd appears from the horizon, but this isn't one of the herds that you have spotted before. It's larger - 23 in all, and their coats are - wait a minute - is that blue?
This happened today when we spotted a small herd of caribou from our Frontiers North Adventures Tundra Buggy. We are fortunate to have Heather MacLeod from Parks Canada on board as our naturalist. Before we unloaded she gave us a lesson on how to become caribou. We held up our hands as antlers and often bowed as if we were grazing. It worked! We were able to get closer and quietly observe them.
Caribou ranges have been shifting due to climate change. Their predators - the wolves -seem to be shifting into their territory, and the changing snow packs impact the vegetation that the caribou eat making it more difficult to find edible food.
Our human herd watched until the real caribou calmly went on their way, and we headed back toward the buggy having added yet another experience to our list of firsts from our journey.