The Revelstoke Caribou Rearing in the Wild Society (RCRW) is a community-based partnership, consisting of a cross representation of individuals and organizations committed to the recovery of southern mountain caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) in the Revelstoke, British Columbia area.

Corey Legebokow MatPen e1509463528710

RCRW is a collaborative, not-for-profit society that was incorporated in 2013. The partnership consists of a wide diversity of First Nations, governmental and non-governmental individuals and organizations. RCRW’s goal and primary focus was to fundraise, plan and conduct a maternity penning pilot project to increase caribou calf survival in the Columbia North subpopulation over a five-year period.

In the fall of 2013, RCRW initiated the pilot project by constructing a 6.4-hectare maternity pen in a sparsely restocked clear-cut at 580 m elevation next to Lake Revelstoke (near Ruddock Creek). The pen was expanded to 9.3 hectares in the fall of 2015. The maternity pen was established with the short-term goal of increasing first year calf survival from 20% to between 40–60%. The longer-term goal was to increase the population growth rate of this subpopulation, but this was dependent on the success of the pilot study.

First Nations shepherd Len cares for caribou before she is released into Mat Pen photo Rob Buchanan
First Nations shepherd Len cares for caribou before she is released into a maternity pen. Photo by Rob Buchanan

A full report on the final results of the RCRW project was published in 2021 and can be viewed here. This report summarizes the many facets of this project and includes information on the finances, school education program, outreach activities, fact sheets and project developed protocols, procedures, handbooks, guidelines and many other project related resources. Included in this report are links to three separate analyses prepared by RCRW:

  • RCRW Society model social structure and function by Alice Weber (2019),
  • Analysis of the project results by Serrouya et al. (2021); and
  • Post-captive movement ecology of endangered mountain caribou, also available as a peer-reviewed publication (Ford et al. 2022)

A full listing of all the Project documents can be found in Reports & Publications after filtering by “RCRW” in the search bar.