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Caribou have long been vital to the survival of Indigenous peoples in the north; the First Nations, Inuit, and Metis.

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Reasons for the drop in caribou populations are complicated. There is still some disagreement among scientific and Indigenous experts as to which factors are most important.


It is often said that forms of wildlife management are mostly not about managing the animals, but about managing people. Some Indigenous peoples find it disrespectful to even talk about managing caribou. In that spirit, this section is largely about managing human interventions that affect caribou.

Managing hunting

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Managing predators

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Range management

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News and resources

Recently added resources

Population Estimate of the Dolphin and Union Caribou herd (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus x pearyi) Coastal Survey, October 2018 and Demographic Indicators

This 49 page (in English) report contains executive summaries in Inuktitut (both syllabics and western orthography). It shows that the Dophin and Union herd has declined to an estimated 4,105 in 2018, down from 17,000 in 2015. The Dophin and Union herd is unique, being neither barren-ground nor Peary caribou. It migrates between Victoria Island and the mainland. 
Government of Nunavut (2020)

Usage: Non-commercial with attribution
Format: pdf

Dolphin and UnionClimate changeHunting

Ecological insights from three decades of animal movement tracking across a changing Arctic

This academic article summarizes trends in long-term data on a variety of Arctic species movements, including barren-ground Caribou. It found, "Barren-ground caribou calved later despite occupying a similar latitudinal range as the northern boreal caribou (Fig. 3). Most importantly, barren-ground and northern woodland caribou, but not southern woodland caribou, exhibited significant trends toward earlier parturition [0.4 to 1.1 days/year (table S10)]. This is the first continental-scale retrospective evidence of potential adaptive responses to climate trends by caribou."
science magazine (2020)

Usage: Non-commercial with attribution
Format: web

Barren-groundClimate change