This photo, from the Local Environmental Observer (LEO) Network, shows hanging caribou meat along the Kobuk River, north of Kiana, Alaska, in September 2010. Click on the photo for more information.
The total annual caribou harvest by North American hunters is estimated to be more than 160,000 caribou, with its replacement value as store-bought meat roughly equivalent to $30 million. While this monetary value illustrates the enormous contribution caribou make to the northern economy, it does not capture the social, psychological, and spiritual value of caribou to its users. [Source: International Arctic Science Committee, The Encyclopedia of Earth, 2012: "Climate change impacts on Indigenous caribou systems of North America," retrieved from http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/151244.] Image credit: Mike Brubaker, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Local Environmental Observer (LEO) Network.