The Last of the Rainforest Caribou

 A Photographer’s Quest to Document the Last of the Rainforest Caribou

In a new book, photographer David Moskowitz turns his lens on the story of a rapidly declining species and habitat

By Jennifer Billock

smithsonian.com

Four years ago, David Moskowitz trekked into the world’s last inland temperate rainforest, stretching a short range from northeastern Washington and northern Idaho to southeast British Columbia in Canada. He hoped to get a glimpse and photograph the elusive mountain caribou, an animal known to live in this unique ecosystem. What he found was catastrophe. Moskowitz discovered that both the mountain caribou and their home are deeply endangered, and are becoming more so every day. Very few herds still exist and are limited to the Selkirk Mountains region, but the most endangered, the Selkirk herd, may already be extinct.

“I was driving up the road, and I saw their habitat coming back down the road on logging trucks,” Moskowitz told Smithsonian.com, speaking of the part of the forest that hasn’t yet been protected. “I couldn’t believe we are actually, today, in the 21st century, clear-cut logging old-growth rainforest. It was this epiphany for me, just how utterly unbelievable the landscape these animals occupy is and what we’re doing to that landscape.”…