BRC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, your donations may be tax deductible and will go directly to supporting our mission of maintaining biological diversity, through research, documentation and education.

The Biodiversity Research Collective is embarking on a fundraising campaign to help ongoing efforts to save the Southern Mountain Caribou, an endangered ungulate associated with old-growth forests in southeast British Columbia. Sadly, the contiguous United States just lost its last wild caribou as of January 18, 2019. These caribou are unique in using deep winter snowpack as a platform to forage arboreal hair lichens (lichens that grow in trees) their sole winter food for up to five months each year. The southern mountain caribou are facing extinction, and a set of complex factors is contributing to their demise:

  • Loss of old forests that support high hair lichen biomass
  • Habitat fragmentation that make them vulnerable to predators
  • Climate change impacts including increasing variability in winter snowpack, which makes foraging more difficult.

There is a need to continue to engage the public about this iconic inland rainforest animal and learn more about its feeding requirements. Despite years of research on the Southern Mountain caribou, relatively few studies have been published that elucidate the factors that maintain high hair lichen biomass, a critical landscape feature for caribou survival. Our project aims to increase awareness of the ongoing disappearance of these caribou, while conducting scientific research to better understand the ecological requirements of their main winter food source.

Would you consider making a donation to our campaign? Our donor levels are $250, $500 and $1000 USD. Our goal is to raise 10K which will be used for two caribou conservation projects:

  1. Educational Caribou Lichen Poster Project- Commissioning of a poster painted by artist Deb Van Poolen, featuring the Mountain Caribou in its mountain habitat together with key elements of its ecosystem. We plan to offer posters free of charge to schools and other educational outlets within the historic range of Mountain Caribou. Donations will help to cover costs of creating and printing the poster and will also enable us to provide to our sponsors. Here’s an article from January 18, 2019 in an Oregon newspaper with examples of Deb’s previous biodiversity conservation posters.
  2. Caribou Hair Lichen Research Project- A research study which we begun in British Columbia’s Clearwater Valley in 2018 will be continued in September 2019 with the aim to improve our understanding of conditions that promote high hair lichen biomass within the range of Mountain Caribou. Your donation will help to cover expenses to conduct the second year of this research, that is being conducted in collaboration with prominent Canadian lichenologist and woodland caribou advocate, Trevor Goward. The resulting publication will be published in a peer reviewed scientific journal. These data should help to inform forest management practices that promote the survival of this unique and enigmatic animal.

In appreciation of your sponsorship we would like to offer you a sponsorship logo on the woodland caribou poster, [up to 20 posters to distribute to your organization], and recognition in the donors list of the annual BRC newsletter.

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