Transcript: Climate Watch Shorts: The caribou islands | Jul 19, 2017

(music plays)

A black spinning globe appears next to the caption "TVO Climate Change Shorts."

A caption reads "Nam Kiwanuka. Climate Watch Shorts host."

Nam has curly brown hair and wears glasses, a gray parka and a black and white mottled turtleneck sweater.

She says WELCOME TO
CLIMATE WATCH SHORTS,
WHERE WE EXAMINE THE
LOCAL IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE.
FOR CARIBOU IN ONTARIO,
THE CHANGING CLIMATE COULD
MEAN MORE EXPOSURE TO PREDATORS.
SCIENTISTS ARE LOOKING AT A
SMALL ISLAND IN LAKE SUPERIOR
AS A LIVING LABORATORY
TO OBSERVE THE MATCH
BETWEEN PREDATOR AND PREY.

Aerial view shows images of lush forests.

A man says I SPENT TWO YEARS
SEARCHING FOR CARIBOU,
AND I MANAGED TO SEE THEM TWICE.
CARIBOU RANGE SURPRISINGLY
FAR SOUTH,
AS FAR AS GEORGIAN BAY.
THAT HAS REGRESSED NORTHWARD.
AS WE'VE ENCROACHED
IN THE BOREAL FOREST,
THE CARIBOU HAVE DISAPPEARED.
THE FORECAST FROM CLIMATE
CHANGE IS NOT THAT FAVOURABLE
FOR MANY SPECIES,
AND CARIBOU IS ONE OF THEM.
WOLVES, BLACK BEARS,
THOSE ARE THE MAJOR PREDATORS
OF CARIBOU AND CARIBOU CALVES,
SO OLD FOREST
PROVIDE REFUGE FROM PREDATION.
WHEN WE DISTURB THOSE FORESTS,
THAT REFUGE IS OFTEN LOST.
THERE'S STILL
A COUPLE OF PLACES,
THE LAKE SUPERIOR ISLANDS,
WHERE THEY STILL PERSIST.
WE HAVE LIVING
LABORATORIES FOR CARIBOU,
WHERE WE CAN GET SOME INSIGHTS
THAT WE OTHERWISE
WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO.

(music plays)

A caption reads "The Caribou Islands."

The caption changes to "Paul Dennis. Retired conservation officer."

Paul is in his late forties, clean-shaven and with short with hair. He wears a gray shirt, unbuttoned gray shirt and a beige cap hat.

He says TERRACE BAY'S A LITTLE TOWN
ON THE NORTH
SHORE OF LAKE SUPERIOR.
WE'RE A MILL TOWN.
WE LOOK OUT EVERY DAY
AND WE SEE THE SLATE ISLANDS,
AND IT'S THE THING THAT
DRAWS AN AWFUL LOT OF PEOPLE.

The caption changes to "Dennis Fisher. Motel owner.:

Dennis is in his fifties, balding and with a white beard. He wears a pale gray sweatshirt.

He says CARIBOU IS LIKE THE
MASCOT ANIMAL OF TERRACE BAY.
EVERYTHING IN TERRACE
BAY REVOLVES AROUND CARIBOU.

Paul says EVERYBODY THAT GOES
TO THE SLATES HAS
THEIR FAVOURITE CARIBOU STORIES.
AND, YOU KNOW, IT COULD BE
YOU'RE BOATING ALONG A SHORE
AND YOU LOOK OVER, AND THERE'S A
CARIBOU PARALLELING YOUR COURSE.

Dennis says PEOPLE WOULD GO OVER THERE,
THINKING THAT THEY'D HAVE
TO BE WALKING AROUND FOR DAYS,
STALKING THEM,
BUT THEY'D FIND OUT
THAT THESE CARIBOU
WOULD COME RIGHT UP TO THEM
LIKE-- LIKE LOST PUPPIES.

The caption changes to "James A. Schaefer. Professor of Biology, Trent University."

James in in his forties, clean-shaven and with short straight graying hair. He wears black trousers and a patterned gray shirt.

James says IF YOU'RE A BIOLOGIST,
YOU KNOW
THE IMPORTANCE OF ISLANDS.
YOU KNOW,
GALÁPAGOS ISLANDS FOR DARWIN
WERE WHERE HE MADE SOME OF
HIS MOST IMPORTANT INSIGHTS
WE'VE EVER MADE IN BIOLOGY.
UM, THE SLATE
ISLANDS IS VERY INTERESTING.
IT'S A CASE WHERE WOLVES HAVE
BEEN ABSENT FOR MOST OF THE TIME
THAT CARIBOU HAVE BEEN THERE.
VERY HIGH DENSITIES OF CARIBOU.

Paul says IN YEARS PAST,
WHEN WE WOULD
FREQUENT THE ISLANDS,
CARIBOU WERE MUCH MORE
VISIBLE THAN THEY ARE THIS YEAR,
AND IT'S NOT THAT
THE CARIBOU AREN'T THERE;
IT'S JUST THAT
THERE'S PREDATORS ON THE ISLAND
THAT AREN'T TYPICALLY
THERE, AND IT'S VERY EASY FOR...
FOR CARIBOU TO
MAINTAIN A VERY LOW PROFILE
WHEN THEY'RE
ACTIVELY BEING HUNTED.

The caption changes to "Andrew Silver. Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry."

Andrew is in his forties, with short gray hair and a stubble. He wears beige trousers, rubber boots, a beige shirt, a beige cap hat and sunglasses over the hat.

He says YOUR CLASSIC KILL SITE,
YOU'LL FIND ALL OF...
YOU'LL SEE A
BED OF CARIBOU HAIR.
THEN, YOU'LL
START SEEING THE BONES.
UM, A LOT OF TIMES
THE LEG BONES ARE CHEWED UP.
NOW WE HAVE WOLVES AND CARIBOU,
AND FUTURE SCIENCE COULD
FIND INTERACTIONS AMONGST AN
ISOLATED POPULATION ON AN ISLAND
AND WHAT HAPPENS.

James says I THINK THERE'S A REALLY GREAT
OPPORTUNITY THAT'S STARTING NOW,
TO LEARN ABOUT
BEHAVIOUR AND NUMERICAL CHANGE
OF WOLVES AND CARIBOU
IN A VERY CLOSED SYSTEM.

Paul says YOU KNOW, I'M SURE YOU COULD
TALK TO TEN DIFFERENT PEOPLE
AND GET TEN DIFFERENT IDEAS
AS TO WHAT THE STATE
OF THE HERD IS OVER THERE,
AND, UH, HOW
MANY CARIBOU GET EATEN
EVERY DAY OR
EVERY WEEK OR EVERY MONTH.

Andrew says SO, THIS IS BASICALLY JUST
THE MOVEMENT PATTERNS
OF THIS INDIVIDUAL FEMALE WOLF,
WHO WAS COLLARED LAST YEAR,
AND THE COLLAR
WAS SENDING ACTUAL LOCATIONS
EVERY THREE HOURS.
THE MOVEMENT ON A DAY.

Paul says YEAH.

Andrew says I WAS SHOCKED!

Paul says THE MOVEMENT
ACROSS THE ISLANDS.

Paul says TO WATCH THEM IN OPEN WATER,
JUST EFFORTLESSLY TRANSITIONING
FROM ONE ISLAND TO THE NEXT.

Andrew says YEAH, IT'S ALL...

Paul says UNBELIEVABLE.

Andrew says YEAH.

Paul sighs.

Andrew says SO...

Paul says WELL, AND IF THEY
WANT TO FEAST ON CARIBOU,
THEY'VE GOTTA BE
PREPARED TO BE ABLE TO MOVE.
THE FUTURE
OF THE WOODLAND CARIBOU
ALONG THE SOUTHERN
PORTION OF ITS RANGE,
IT-- IT'S GONNA
BE A HARD-FOUGHT BATTLE
FOR THEM TO
MAINTAIN A FOOTHOLD HERE.

James says I THINK WE'LL LEARN A LOT FROM
THE LAKE SUPERIOR ISLAND SYSTEM.
BUT MY HOPE IS THAT THE
BOREAL FOREST WILL CONTINUE
TO HAVE ITS MIX OF
WHITE-TAILED DEER, MOOSE,
WOLVES, BEARS,
WOLVERINES, CARIBOU, ALL
PLAYING THEIR ECOLOGICAL ROLES
AS THEY HAVE FOR
THE LAST SEVERAL MILLENNIA.

Andrew says ON AN ISLAND
WHERE THERE'S NO PREDATORS,
NOW THERE'S A PREDATOR,
SO THEIR BEHAVIOUR WILL CHANGE,
AND THAT'S WHAT WE WANT
TO SEE, WHAT'S GONNA HAPPEN?
THERE IS SO MUCH
SCIENCE THAT COULD BE DONE.
IT'S JUST WHETHER WE CAN
GET AROUND TO DOING IT IN TIME.

(music plays)

A caption reads "Music by Stefan Banjevic. Additional footage courtesy of Richard Dear and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Special thanks to: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Ontario Parks – Slate Islands Provincial Park. Andrus Heyduck, Allison Dennis and Eleanor Dennis."

tvo.org/climatewatch.

Watch: Climate Watch Shorts: The caribou islands