- Herd size (2018) 5,500 (a decrease of 38% since the previous survey in 2016 and 99% since 1993)
The historic range of the George River herd was almost 100,000 km2, from the eastern shore of Hudson Bay in northern Quebec, and the Atlantic coast line in Labrador. That range shrank by about 85% from the late 1990s to the 2010-14 range. It is now almost entirely in Labrador.
The decline steep decline is blamed largely on degradation of the caribou habitat by an unsupportably large population in the early 1990s, compounded by the factors found in the ‘threats’ section of this site.
COSEWIC has recommended listing of the eastern migratory caribou as endangered. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador decided not to list the George River herd provincially “...at the specific request of Indigenous governments and communities in Labrador...”.
Hunting of this herd by non-Indigenous people is now banned. The Cree and Inuit that share the herd have adopted voluntary bands on hunting. However, at last report, people from the Innu Nation were still hunting the caribou.
“We’re Made Criminals Just to Eat off the Land”: Colonial Wildlife Management and Repercussions on Inuit Well-Being
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