Idaho's rare upland caribou, common cousins to Santa's stalwarts, are in the economic crosshairs this Christmas.
The caribou, commonly known as Canadian reindeer, live in scant numbers along the U.S.-Canada border. The isolated, one-of-a-kind herd is considered one of the most endangered species in the continental United States.
A 2011 census counted 36 caribou, and the most recent survey—conducted between Jan. 12 and April 2 of this year—found only 27 animals.
In Wednesday's Boise Weekly, reporter Zach Hagadone takes us to Idaho's panhandle to learn more about the elusive reindeer and why snowmobilers and loggers aren't exactly thrilled with setting aside too much wilderness for the wildlife.