Bluenose East

  • Herd size (2018) 19,000

This is one of three herds once simply known as the “Bluenose Herd”. In the mid 1990s, research showed that the Bluenose Herd was split into three herds all using different calving grounds, so the management units of Bluenose-East, Bluenose-West, and Cape Bathurst herds were created. There is no management board for this herd, but there is a management plan covering all three herds. The plan was prepared under the authority of the Advisory Committee for Cooperation on Wildlife Management. This group brings together representatives of several renewable resources boards and committees in the NWT and Nunavut to address cross-boundary wildlife issues.  The Bluenose-East herd was estimated at 104,000 animals in 2000. The herd has declined to a population estimated at 19,000 in 2018.

Most of the herd’s calving area is in Nunavut, south and west of Kugluktuk near the NWT border, but its annual range takes it deep into the Northwest Territories, south and east of Great Bear Lake. Communities in the herd's range include Kugluktuk (NU), and Délın̨e, Wekweètì and Gamètì,(NWT). The herd may be harvested by nine communities; Wrigley, Norman Wells, Tulít’a, Délın̨e, Whatì, Gamètì, Behchokǫ̀, Paulatuk, and Kugluktuk.

Related news

Community plans to lead caribou conservation in Sahtú region

This news story is about a decision by the Sahtu Renewable Resources Board (Northwest Territories) to approve a community-led approach to managing caribou. The communities of Colville Lake and Délı̨nę have already developed plans. Once the community plans are fully approved, a "total allowable harvest" quota system administered by the Renewable Resources Board will be lifted, although it can be reimposed if the Board thinks it necessary.
18 November 2020 | CKLB Radio

N.W.T. wolf cull 'inhumane and unnecessary,' says Łutsel K'e Dene First Nation

This news story quotes a submission by the Łutsel K'e Dene First Nation to an official request by the NWT and Tlicho governments for feedback on plans to cull wolves. The wolf-culling program is intended to help protect the Bluenose East and Bathurst caribou herds. Both of them have declined dramatically in the past few years. The First Nation's letter calls the wolf-culling plan "inhumane and unnecessary".
17 November 2020 | CBC North

N.W.T. harvesters will get more training to kill wolves, help caribou population

A story about the NWT and Tłı̨chǫ governments' plans to help train local harvesters to kills wolves. This is part of the attempt to reduce wolf predation on the Bathurst and Bluenose East caribou herds. At the moment only one person in theTłı̨chǫ comunities targets wolves.
28 August 2020 | CBC

Strategy to help NWT’s beleaguered caribou is released

A news story about a new recovery strategy for barren-ground caribou herds in the NWT.  The strategy was developed by group of governments and regulatory boards, collectively known as the Conference of Management Authorities. The recovery strategy will guide how all NWT herds of barren-ground caribou are managed, with the exception of the Porcupine herd.
10 July 2020 | cabin radio

Tlicho, N.W.T. govt's submit joint wolf management plan to support caribou recovery

A 2020 news story on a proposed new wolf management plan affecting the Bluenose-East and Bathurst herds.
3 February 2020 | CBC

NWT Budget 2020 Detail: What's new and what's changing

A 2020 news story on the new NWT budget. mentions funding for work on the Bathurst and Bluenose-East herds.
1 February 2020 | Cabin Radio

Where are the wolves? Satellite collaring planned for wolves on caribou winter range

a 2020 news story about collaring wolves associated with the Beverly/Ahiak, Bathurst and Bluenose-east herds.
31 January 2020 | CBC

Arctic Canada: Nunavut government asks to lower caribou hunt, which could impact local communities

A 2020 news story about the impacts of proposed changes to the total allowable harvest for Bluenose-East and Bathurst caribou herds. The story focuses on the Nunavut community of Kugluktuk.
13 January 2020 | CBC

Nunavut government asks to lower caribou hunt on Bluenose East herd, ban Bathurst harvest

A 2020 news story about the Nunavut government proposal to lower hunting quotas on the Bluenose-East herd, and eliminate the quota for the Bathurst herd. The story talks about community hardships that would result from the quota changes, and potential increased pressure on the Dolphin and Union herd.
13 January 2020 | CBC

Bluenose-East caribou population declining

A 2019 news story about an apparent decline in the Bluenose East herd.
28 November 2019 | Nunavut News

Canadian taxpayers on hook for $61 million for road to open up mining in Arctic

A 2019 magazine article on potential impacts on caribou from the Gray’s bay road and port project. Potential impacts on the Bathurst, Bluenose-East, and Dolphin and Union herds are mentioned.
15 August 2019 | The Narwhal

Tradition versus technology: Northerners debate use of drones in caribou hunting

New N.W.T. wildlife regulations in effect since July 1 defer decision on drone use
8 July 2019 | CBC

Nunavut, N.W.T. team up on joint caribou management

A 2019 news story on the agreement between the NWT and nunavut governments to better manage the Bathurst and Bluenose-East
1 May 2019 | Nunatsiaq

Communities 'supporting each other' to conserve Bluenose East herd

A 2019 news story that includes suggestions that wolves are to blame for summer range losses for two NWT caribou herds. The story also talks about Indigenous management.
11 April 2019 | CBC

Killing wolves won't save caribou herds, experts say

A 2019 news story quoting two biologists who argue that wolf predation is not the major problem in driving the current caribou declines
27 February 2019 | CBC

'Deadly serious': 2 caribou herds shrink by half in latest count

A 2018 news story about the rapid decline of the Bathurst and Bluenose-East herds.
20 November 2018 | CBC

Related resources

advisory committee for cooperation on wildlife management

This is the site for the Advisory Committee for Cooperation on Wildlife Management. It was established to exchange information, help develop cooperation and consensus, and make recommendations regarding wildlife and wildlife habitat issues that cross land claim and treaty boundaries in the Northwest Territories. The committee includes the Wildlife Management Advisory Council (NWT), Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board, Ɂehdzo Got’ı̨nę Gots’ę́ Nákedı (Sahtú Renewable Resources Board), Wek’èezhìi Renewable Resources Board, Kitikmeot Regional Wildlife Board, and Tuktut Nogait National Park Management Board. The ACCWM covers three caribou herds, the Bluenose east and west herds, and Cape Bathurst.
(2020)

RECOVERY STRATEGY FOR BARREN-GROUND CARIBOU In the Northwest Territories

This 70-page recovery strategy for barren-gound caribou in the Northwest Territories lays out plans to help the eight herds covered by the strategy. The strategy was required by the NWT Species at Risk Act after the barren-ground caribou were listed as "threatened" in 2018. The governments and co-management boards that developed the strategy have until April 9, 2021 to agree on the implementation of the recovery strategy. 
Conference of Management Authorities (2020)

Interview on Advisory Committee for Cooperation on Wildlife Management

Ever wonder how different jurisdictions cooperate on caribou management? Here's one example. An interview with Jody Pellissey, Executive Director of the Wekʼèezhìi Renewable Resources Board about the Advisory Committee for Cooperation on Wildlife Management (ACCWM). It was created to share information and coordinate wildlife management between wildlife management boards in the NWT and Nunavut, with a particular focus on the management of transboundary caribou herds.
(2020)

Renal trace elements in barren-ground caribou subpopulations: Temporal trends and differing effects of sex, age and season

An academic paper that looks at the level of some metals in kidneys of some northern caribou. It found that copper levels are decreasing in the caribou kidneys, possibly due to changes in what caribou are eating. The paper concludes, "Declining Cu concentrations in caribou are of concern as low levels could potentially negatively affect reproduction and therefore caribou at a population level."
Science of the Total Environment (2020)

Estimates of breeding females & adult herd size

This report on a 2018 survey of the Bluenose-east herd showed the herd has shrubk by 50% since the last survey in 2015.
Government of the Northwest Territories (2019)

Usage: Non-commercial with attribution
Format: pdf

Bluenose East

How we count caribou: calving ground photo survey

This video explains the Calving Ground Photo Survey method used to count Bathurst and Bluenose-East caribou.
Government of the Northwest Territories (2019)

Usage: Non-commercial with attribution
Format: video

BathurstBluenose East

Tactical departures and strategic arrivals: Divergent effects of climate and weather on caribou spring migrations

A 2019 academic paper that looks at factors affecting caribou migration timing and speed. The paper concludes that  later arrival at calving grounds might indicate that females are in worse condition, and that calving and calf survival rates might be lower.
(2019)

Barren-ground Caribou Surveys - English

A 1':25" 2018 video with subtitles from the Government of the Northwest Territories showing and explaining the aerial surveys of barren-ground caribou in 2018.
Government of the Northwest Territories (2018)

Usage: Non-commercial with attribution
Format: video

BathurstBluenose East

FACT SHEET: Bluenose-East Caribou

2-page fact sheet on the Bluenose-east herd.
Government of the Northwest Territories (2018)

Usage: Non-commercial with attribution
Format: pdf

Bluenose East

Action Plan for the Bluenose-East Caribou Herd

A 56-page action plan for the Bluenose-east herd prepared by the wildlife management boards with stewardship responsibilities for barren-ground caribou and their habitat in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. This is a follow-up to the 2014 management plan, "Taking Care of Caribou".
Wekʼèezhìi Renewable Resources Board (WRRB) (2017)

Technical Report on Cape Bathurst, Bluenose-West and Bluenose-East Caribou Herds

A 90-page 2016 report presenting scientific knowledge and status of the Cape Bathurst, BluenoseWest and Bluenose-East caribou herds and gaps in knowledge.  One of two companion documents to "Taking Care of Caribou: The Cape Bathurst, Bluenose-West and Bluenose-East Caribou Herds Management Plan"
Government of the Northwest Territories (2016)

The Cape Bathurst, Bluenose-West, and Bluenose-East Barren-ground Caribou Herds Management Plan

There is no management board for this herd, but there is a management plan. The plan was prepared under the authority of the Advisory Committee for Cooperation on Wildlife Management. This group brings together representatives of several renewable resources boards and committees in the NWT and Nunavut to address cross-boundary wildlife issues
Government of the Northwest Territories (2014)

Usage: Non-commercial with attribution
Format: pdf

BathurstBluenose WestBluenose EastBarren-ground

Taking Care of Caribou: The Cape Bathurst, Bluenose-West, and Bluenose-East Barren-ground Caribou Herds Management Plan

This 2014 management plan for three herds (Bluenose-East and West and Cape Bathurst) was created by the Advisory Committee for Cooperation on Wildlife Management (NWT). It says “While the immediate need for the plan was in response to reported declines in the herds, the intent is for the plan to address caribou management and stewardship over the long term. This plan was developed in consultation with most of the communities that harvest from the three herds.”
Government of the Northwest Territories (2014)

Engaging Bluenose Caribou Communities

This lengthy 2014 report contain notes from all the community meetings that fed into the management plan for three herds (Bluenose-East and West and Cape Bathurst). It is the result of consultation sessions in 17 communities in the NWT and Nunavut. It contains much Indigneous knowledge about the caribou, but the report cautions that it “...should not be seen as a complete record of the traditional and community knowledge that exists about these caribou.”
Wekʼèezhìi Renewable Resources Board (WRRB) (2014)

We have been Living with the Caribou all our Lives: a report on information recorded during community meetings

A 196-page report from 2014 from The Advisory Committee for Cooperation on Wildlife Management (a collection of wildlife management/renewable resources boards from the NWT and Nunavut). This report details community input to a management plan for the Cape Bathurst, Bluenose-West, and Bluenose-East herds
Advisory Committee for Cooperation on Wildlife Management (2014)

FACT SHEET: Satellite collaring barren ground caribou

A 2-page fact sheet from the Government of the Northwest Territories explaining the use of radio collars on caribou.
Government of the Northwest Territories

Usage: Non-commercial with attribution
Format: pdf

Beverly and QaminirjuaqBathurstBluenose WestBluenose East

Enhanced North Slave Wolf Harvest Incentive Program

The enhanced North Slave wolf harvest program run by the Government of the Northwest Territories in the range of the Bathurst and Bluenose-East caribou herds.
Government of the Northwest Territories