Caribou Rainforest: From Heartbreak to Hope
Rainforest or mountain caribou are related, with certain differences, to the huge herds of caribou (a.k.a. reindeer) in places further north. True to their name, rainforests are an ecosystem defined by plentiful rainfall, in some spots up to 400 inches a year. In the Pacific Northwest, where Canada and the U.S. share a border, they are home to the elusive mountain caribou whose nutritional needs are met by arboreal lichens.
As their numbers diminish in keeping with other once abundant wildlife, David Moskowitz has chosen to keep a permanent record of their way of life in a book filled with glorious images. The resplendent photographs seasonally taken of forests mountainsides, lakes, as well as area fauna distract readers from the text. If so, this would be a mistake for the book is written in a jaunty, lively style, imparting information relevant to the natural setting where the caribou roam. Moskowitz describes in detailed the rainforest that for many miles straddles Washington state, western Idaho, and southern British Columbia. The climate invites mountaineers, skiers, and less athletic tourists, but the region is by and large off the beaten track and the caribou enjoy seclusion and even resort to playing hide and seek to visitors who hope to see them.
The book has marvelous maps that without any embellishment show precisely the range and ecology of the rainforest. Caribou, though somewhat ungainly, have a special beauty captured in images showing their path from newborn to small group boldly treading the snow-covered path of the alpine mountain ranges.
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