NRESi/HCTF Colloquium presentation: Straight from the caribou's mouth: tame animals reveal nutritional value of plant communities varies widely during summer. Dr. Kristin Denryter (Alaska Department of Fish and Game)

Friday, March 18, 2022 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Room 7-212 and Online: (
Prince George

Kristin DenryterWoodland caribou are an iconic species of the boreal forests and mountains of western Canada whose populations and distributions have declined significantly over the last century. While much work has been accomplished to understand how human development impacts caribou by mediating and altering predator-prey dynamics, much less work has been accomplished regarding the role of nutrition—particularly during summer when caribou incur high nutritional demands to rear their young and replenish body fat and protein reserves needed during winter. Recent work, funded in part by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, aimed to fill this knowledge gap for woodland caribou. Using tame animals as habitat assessment tools, researchers collected detailed information on what caribou ate, how much they ate, and the quality of foods consumed by caribou during summer-autumn in the mountains and boreal forests of northern British Columbia. Researchers then compared these data to nutritional requirements of caribou to determine which plant communities provided adequate nutrition during summer. While some plant communities allowed caribou to satisfy their nutritional requirements, including to support milk production and calf-rearing, many did not. Additionally, many of the plant communities that provided caribou with high levels of nutrition differed from those considered to be important for caribou during winter. Information gleaned from foraging observations collected in this study has implications to conservation and management of caribou and their habitats.

The Natural Resources & Environmental Studies Institute (NRESi) at UNBC hosts a weekly lecture series at the Prince George campus. Anyone from the university or wider community with interest in the topic area is welcome to attend. Go to to view the presentation remotely.

HCTF logoThis event is funded by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation is a non-profit charitable foundation acting as Trustee of the Habitat Conservation Trust. HCTF came into existence because its major contributors (hunters, anglers, trappers, and guide-outfitters) were willing to pay for conservation work above and beyond that expected by government for basic management of wildlife and fish resources.

Past NRESi colloquium presentations and special lectures can be viewed on our video archive, available here.

Please Note: NRESi colloquium presentations this semester will be available to attend both in-person as well as online. However, those wishing to attend in-person must wear a mask as per Provincial Health Officer (PHO) orders and University policy. Thank you for your understanding.

Contact Information

Al Wiensczyk, RPF
Research Manager,
Natural Resources and Environmental Studies Institute
Phone: 250-614-4354
Phone: 250-960-5018

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