This is an old webpage carried forward to our new site. Please note that some of the information might be out of date and we probably have newer footage.
Caribou are like the bison of the North American Great Plains or the salmon of the Pacific Northwest in that aboriginal people depended on them and their movements for subsistence. Vast herds of caribou make annual migrations between their calving grounds, typically in far northern regions, and their wintering areas. The migrations include crossing large and dangerous rivers, packs of wolves, and Native American hunters.
Reindeer are simply domesticated caribou. Compared to many other domesticated animals, the domestication of caribou is fairly recent hence the animals maintain many of the traits of the wild animals. Reindeer can have a slightly different coloration, are stockier, and their antlers are often smaller. Reindeer herds are often free-ranging, and the animals might interact with wild caribou. However, the owners of the herds might push the reindeer to safe places for calving and they harvest animals as needed.
Like other Arctic wildlife caribou are now threatened by climate change. As the tundra warms conditions become less hospitable for caribou. For example, the hordes of mosquitos that torment caribou during the brief Arctic summer can become even more life-threatening as they increase in numbers and the length of their season is expanded.
Filming Caribou Stock Footage
Filming caribou can be a challenge because of the remote and often harsh enviroment they live in. Small number of caribou can be seen and filmed in popular tourist destinations such as Denali National Park in Alaska. However, you will not see the vast herds there as the caribou exist in small groups or even single animals. To see the large herds you will need to venture further north in Alaska, perhaps with the aid of a bush plane. Even then, locating the herds is a matter of hard work and luck.