Boreal caribou are a distinct population of woodland caribou. Boreal caribou are similar to northern mountain caribou, which are the other population of woodland caribou found in the NWT. They are the largest subspecies of caribou in the NWT.
Boreal caribou live in the forests east of the Mackenzie Mountains. They tend to live in small groups and prefer to stay within the forest all year. Boreal caribou do not migrate. Females space out throughout the forests for calving to reduce the risk of predation.
They are the largest subspecies of caribou in the NWT. Males weigh an average of 150 kg and can reach 1.2 m high at the shoulder. Their brown summer coat turns greyish in winter. In all seasons their neck, mane, underbelly, rump and a patch above each hoof are creamy white. Antlers of woodland caribou are thicker and broader compared to those of barren-ground caribou
Northern Mountain caribou live in the Mackenzie Mountains. They have different habitat preferences and behaviour than boreal caribou.
Many northern mountain caribou are migratory and they sometimes gather into large groups. They have distinct migrations in elevation, where they move up or down in response to changes in food quality and availability, and in season between summering and wintering areas. Seasonal migrations may involve groups of thousands of animals.
There is also a non-migratory or sedentary group of northern mountain caribou living in the Sahtu region of the Mackenzie Mountains.