Rangifer tarandus dawsoni Thompson-Seton, 1900

Dawson's caribou, Dawson's dwarf caribou, Queen Charlotte Islands caribou, Queen Charlotte reindeer



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Rangifer dawsoni Thompson-Seton, 1900


Generally considered to be an invalid subspecies now. It's recent isolation from mainland populations resulted in slight morphological differences, but not sufficiently many to warrant subspecific status (Byun et al., 2002). But as noted by (Harding, 2022), it was treated as a valid subspecies by (Wilson & Mittermeier, 2011).


Conservation Status

Invalid (synonym)?

Last record: 1908; c.1935 (Goodwin & Goodwin, 1973)



Graham Island, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada


Biology & Ecology










Allen, G. M. (1942). Extinct and vanishing mammals of the western hemisphere, with the marine species of all the oceans. Cambridge Mass: American Committee for International Wild Life Protection.

Banfield, A. W. F. (1961). A revision of the reindeer and caribou genus Rangifer. National Museum of Canada Bulletin 177 Biological Series Report 66: 1-137.

Byun, S. A., Koop, B. F. and Reimchen, T. E. (2002). Evolution of the Dawson caribou (Rangifer tarandus dawsoni). Can. J. Zool. 80(5): 956-960.

Day, David. (1981). The Doomsday Book of Animals: A Natural History of Vanished Species. New York, N.Y.: The Viking Press.

Gippoliti, Spartaco. (2020). Everything mammal conservation biologists always wanted to know about taxonomy (but were afraid to ask). Journal for Nature Conservation 54: 1257.

Goodwin, Harry A. and Goodwin, J. M. (1973). List of mammals which have become extinct or are possibly extinct since 1600. Int. Union Conserv. Nat. Occas. Pap. 8: 1-20.

Harding, Lee E. (2022). Available names for Rangifer (Mammalia, Artiodactyla, Cervidae) species and subspecies. ZooKeys 1119: 117-151.

Lydekker, Richard. (1915). Catalogue of the Ungulate Mammals in the British Museum (Natural History). Vol. IV. Artiodactyla. London: British Museum. [p. 251]

Mathewes, Rolf W., Richards, Michael and Reimchen, Thomas E. (2019). Late Pleistocene age, size, and paleoenvironment of a caribou antler from Haida Gwaii, British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. doi: [Abstract]

Miller, G. S. (1924). List of North America recent mammals 1923. Bulletin United States National Museum 128: 1-673.

Sealy, S. G. (2017). On the land mammals of the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, by John Henry Keen, with a catalogue of specimens. Archives of Natural History 44(2): 259-274. [Abstract] [relevant reference?]

Wilson, D. E. and Mittermeier, R. A. (2011). Handbook of the mammals of the World volume 2 hoofed mammals. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain. 886 pp.


<< Back to the Cetartiodactyla (Even-toed Ungulates) database