News

Nearly $4.8 million to track migratory caribou in the context of climate change

A news release announcing multi-million dollar funding that will sponsor a project to research migratory caribou on the Ungava peninsula in Nunavik (Quebec). The "Caribou Ungava" project has been active since 2009; the new funding will take it to 2029. The project is to focus on five main areas of research: 1) the dynamics and connectivity of migratory caribou populations with forest and mountain caribou populations; 2) mitigation of the impacts of territorial development; 3) determinants of habitat use and change; 4) health indicators of caribou and their boreal and northern competitors; 5) the ecology of black bear and musk ox interacting with migratory and expanding caribou on the Ungava Peninsula.
10 May 2024 | laval university

Controversial methods are working to buy Canada’s caribou some time

This audio interview (8':34") was prompted by a paper that looked at the effectiveness of methods applied to saving herds of endangered southern mountain caribou in Canada. The paper's lead author Clayton Lamb is interviewed and discusses the paper's findings, such as the success of captive breeding, supplementary feeding, and wolf control. He stresses that long term measures must be taken to help restore the caribou habitat.
29 April 2024 | cbc

As grizzlies and hybrid bears push north, N.W.T. harvesters look to protect caribou

This story quotes a local resident and a researcher who agree that grizzly bears and grrizzly/polar bear hybrids are increasingly found on Victoria Island and Banks Island, off the Arctic coast of the Northwest Territories. Hunters are concerned that the increased incidence of the bears is having an impact on local caribou populations. They are considering organizing a community hunt to reduce the grizzly numbers.
22 April 2024 | cbc north

Kugluktuk caribou harvest closes for the season

A short news story noting that hunting of the Dolpin and Union herd is now closed for hunters from the community of Kugluktuk, as the allowable harvest of 105 animals has been reached. The latest (2020) estimate of the herd's size was 3,800 caribou.
19 April 2024 | Nunatsiaq news

Notes from the Trail: Caribou herds cannot withstand many more acts of senseless violence

This opinion piece argues for ending public access to a winter road north of Yellowknife, due to its use by people hunting caribou. According to reports, remains of a dozen or more caribou were found recently along the mining access road, and there was much meat wastage.
8 March 2024 | NNSL

Are Baffin Island’s caribou numbers growing? Researchers plan to find out

A new count of Baffin Island caribou is to be carried out this year. The aerial survey will look to confirm anecdotal reports and smaller surveys indicating that the herd on the island is growing. The last major survey of the herd in 2014 indicated that ti had shrunk dramatically to about 4,600.
4 March 2024 | Nunatsiaq News

The Double-Edged Sword of Genetic Diversity in Caribou

A study of caribou genetics finds that "caribou maintain a high level of genetic diversity". This could be both a good thing and a bad thing. Genetic diversity can help species adapt. But when population numbers are low, genes that might harm a herd's ability to survive can become more common in a population. 
29 February 2024 | trent university

Colville Lake declines to share caribou information with GNWT

Hearings wre held in the Sahtu region of the Nothwest Territories to discuss the impacts of wildfire on caribou. One First Nation declined to share information at the session, noting that elders have warned against publicly discussing things beyond their control such as caribou and weather. A manager of environmental assessment and habitat with the territorial government told the meeting, "Loss of habitat from wildfires has been identified as a main threat to barren-ground caribou."
26 February 2024 | Cabin Radio

Rapid response needed to contain ‘zombie deer’ disease in B.C.

Chronic wasting disease, a brain disease that affects deer species, has been found for the first time in British Columbia. It has not yet been found in caribou in Canada, but is assumed to be capable of spreading to them.
20 February 2024 | National Observer

GN closes Baffin Island caribou harvest

Brief news story announcing the closure of Baffin Island caribou harvest for the year. The annual harvest is capped at 400 animals.
13 February 2024 | Nunatsiaq News