Caribou and the North


"If the caribou die, then we die." These few words speak eloquently to the significance of caribou for northern peoples. They were spoken not by a wise old chief, but by a 13-year-old Dene youth in 2007 during a hearing regarding uranium exploration on the caribou wintering grounds.

Right now there is urgent, widespread concern about the future of the most central of species: caribou. Caribou and the North brings both the facts and the feelings of the current situation to a North American readership. The writers look at why we need to conserve the caribou, the threats that have faced caribou in the past, present, and future, and the actions that we can take. Also included is an appendix with up-to-date information on the range, movements, habitats, numbers, population trends, and key threats to caribou in North America.


"Caribou and the North is an engaging introduction to these animals and how crucial they are to their environment ... Hummel and Ray will likely draw you into the story whether you would like to find out more about caribou, the cultures of northern aboriginals, or how anthropogenic climate change is stressing and will continue stressing both animals and the peoples of the North ... After finishing Caribou and the North you may well find yourself hoping that neither of them "goes" anywhere! For if either disappears, both will be gone ... and if both are gone, then so many other life-forms will not be far behind. - Justin Van Kleeck,

"a wonderful fountain of information ..." - The TerraMadre

"A fascinating and often troubling look at a resilient animal and its importance to far northern cultures and the increasing threats it faces."

Winnipeg Free Press

"… book of great visual beauty packed with information about a threatened ecosystem and its "star", the giant migrating caribou herds."

"... a gorgeous, thoroughly researched and, more important, passionate book ..."

Now Magazine

This reader-friendly tome is the best current review of what is happening to caribou across North America ... the attractive multicolored maps convey a wealth of current information ... Anyone interested in the conservation of caribou in North America should purchase this book ... It is a reliable and current overview of one of the major conservation issues in North America.

"... the publication of record for anyone wanting to know the current status of caribou across North America ...Anyone interested in knowing how the caribou are faring should read this book ... it is very readable, yet authoritative, and replete with excellent photographs and detailed maps."

About the Authors

Monte Hummel

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014
Monte Hummel photo

Monte Hummel

Monte Hummel has served on the boards of many Canadian and international conservation societies, was co-founder of Pollution Probe, and became president of WWF Canada in 1985. He is the author of Wintergreen, Protecting Canada's Endangered Species, and Wild Hunters. He lives in Toronto.

Justina C. Ray

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014
Justina C. Ray photo

Justina C. Ray

Justina C. Ray is the director of Wildlife Conservation Society Canada. She is an Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto, and a Research Associate at the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Biology at the Royal Ontario Museum. She lives in Toronto.