The Val-d’Or caribou are one of two isolated populations of woodland caribou in Quebec. The other is the one in Charlevoix. These two populations were gradually isolated as the southern limit of the woodland caribou’s range moved northward.
The first assessment of the Val-d’Or caribou population dates back to 1955. At that time, it was estimated at about 80 individuals. Then, this caribou population was estimated at 60 to 80 individuals in 1974, about 50 from 1980 to 1999, 25 to 30 in 2003, and at least 18 individuals according to the last official inventory in 2016. In short, since at least the 1970s, the Val-d’Or caribou population has been in constant decline, with some cyclical variation.
Since 1989, a forest management plan has been in place in the Val-d’Or caribou range. This plan has been updated several times and the most recent version covered the years 2013 to 2018. Also, in 2003, a protected area covering the core habitat of these caribou was created. To this day, the rate of disturbance in Val-d’Or caribou habitat remains too high to hope for their recovery and maintenance.