|Endangered Species: Caribou
A Christiansburg Elementary Project
Submitted by Emily at Christiansburg Elementary School
Christiansburg, VA, U.S.A.
Why Study This Topic?
To do research about the caribou I need to learn about
its surroundings like were it lives ,what it eats, if it travels in herds.
There's a possibility the caribou lives on mountains or it could graze
on flat grassy places. The caribou, like any other animal has to eat, the
caribou might eat plants or other animals. The caribou could be a group
animal or not. Also I might want to find out if the caribou is a very territorial
What Was Already Known
Before my research I knew that the caribou was another
name for reindeer. I also knew the caribou was a French Canadian name meaning,
wild reindeer of North America. I knew the female caribou is the only American
deer with antlers. The male caribou's antlers grow much larger than the
Search for Information
Field Enterprise Educational Corporation-The World Encyclopedia
Description of Plant or Animal
My animal is massive. The caribou can grow up to 4
or 5 feet tall. The caribou is also very long, it can be up 6 or 8 feet
long. Caribou are also known for their broad antlers and their cloven hooves.
The caribou has a white stomach and light brown head, legs and back. The
caribou have small ears beside the beginning of their antlers. The caribou
is like a horse, sheep and cow put together.
During the summer the caribou spend their time in
the tundra. In the winter, giant herds make their way to the evergreen
forests, south of the tundra. Caribou may also be found from western Alaska
to western Greenland. In the summer caribou eat mostly grass and leaves
of willow dwarf birch and other shrubs. In the winter, they survive on
mostly lichens and springs. The caribou, along with other animals, live
in the swamp like plains. To show alarm, the male raises his tail. As a
sign of caution it thrusts one of its hind legs to the side. Reindeer are
normally smaller than the caribou.
For years the caribou have been hunted by the northern
Indian and the Eskimos for meat and to make soup out of the marrow. The
Indian and Eskimos made tents out of the caribou's hide. Although the caribou
does not hunt for itself, it eats mostly willow dwarf birch and other shrubs.
The caribou are hunted by other humans to make tents, sleeping bags and
other materials. The physical features are their broad antlers and their
cloven hoofs. Also, the flab under the neck.
Reasons for Endangerment
Caribou are hunted because their hide is used for
many things such as tents, sleeping bags, food, and clothing. So everytime
a caribou is killed that's one closer to extinction. The number of caribou
has declined from 2 million in the 1900's to about a million today. The
caribou were also hunted by the Northern Indians for shelter and food.
Understanding the fact that caribou are endangered
looking on the Web page it looks like no one has any intention of saving
the caribou, all it talks about is the hunting and cooking recipes. It
didn't talk about saving the caribou. Yet, there is hope. Attempts are
under consideration to enhance and protect the caribou habitat. In the
future, I think that no one should kill any caribou until the population
What Was Learned
I learned that the caribou travel in large herds.
The number of caribou has declined from two million in the early 1900's
to about a million today. The female caribou is the American deer with
antlers and is the largest female deer. The male caribou antlers are much
larger than those of the female. The animals furnish people with clothing,
meat, milk, and shelter. The caribou has cloven hoofs and very large antlers.
Unlike other Arctic animals, the caribou has a very thin coat of fur.
Conclusions From Research
I liked the experience of learning new things about
caribou. There were interesting facts in the encyclopedia, animal books,
and our wonderful animal websites. I had the skills of knowing how to look
up facts and of knowing how to use Internet addresses. There were three
places in the encyclopedia: Caribou, Reindeer and Animals of Polar Regions.
Up until now, I have never had the experience of doing a report on animals.
Field Enterprise Educational Corporation. The World Book Encyclopedia Chaplin,
Raymond E. (1977) Deer Berton, P. (1987) The Arctic Grail Banfield, A.
W. (1961). A Revision of the Reindeer and Caribou Genus Rangerifer.
here for more information on the Caribou!
Return to Mammals page.
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© copyright 1997
Last updated on March 9, 1998