The Caribou,Rangifer tarandus, is a member of the deer family. In Europe and Asia, Caribou are called Reindeer and all Caribou and Reindeer are considered to be the same species, but are divided into seven sub-species.
The Caribou on this page are all Woodland Caribou, Rangifer taranduscaribou, and is found in the northern forest across Canada. They are about 3.5-4 ft/107-122 cm at the shoulder. Males are substantially heavier than females.
Unlike other deer members, many female Caribou have antlers as well as the males. The Caribou also has specially adapted broad hooves which help them dig into the snow in search of hidden food. The primary food in the winter is lichen along with leaves and bark of shrubs depending on the area. In the summer they feed on mosses, grasses, mushrooms and lichens.
There are over 2.4 million Caribou in Canada. Many migrate vast distances in search of food while others venture only a short distance. Despite their vast numbers, many people have never seen one except on the back of the Canadian 25 cent coin.