Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve hosts 3 of 32 recognized caribou herds in Alaska. Of these, one herd is unique. The Chisana Caribou herd, whose range crosses the border between Alaska and Canada, is the only woodland caribou in Alaska.
An intensive captive rearing program was conducted with the USGS and the Canadian Wildlife Service from 2003 through 2006. During calving, captured cows and offspring were protected from their major predators, wolves and bears. The hope was that improving calf survival would result in overall population growth. Surveys since 2003 reflect increased caribou numbers when compared to the prior 10 years. The most recent survey was conducted in October 2007 and results show a stable, slightly growing Chisana Caribou population.
Last updated: February 26, 2018