Caribou concerns dominate hearing on Nunavut mine extension

Public hearings about proposed extensions of a gold mining project near Rankin Inlet have heard fears about the potential impacts on caribou. A proposed wind farm is of particular concern, as local people say it is close to calving grounds.
20 September 2023 | CBC

Final hearing on future of Meliadine gold mine begins in Rankin Inlet

A proposal to extend the life of a gold mine near Rankin Inlet in Nunavut has raised concerns about the project's impact on caribou. The Meliadine mine proposal is being reviewed by the Nunavut Impact Review Board. One concern raised by the local Inuit association regards the impacts of a proposed wind farm at the mine. The Kivalliq Inuit Association says, "The impacts of wind turbines on barren ground caribou herds have not been studied in enough depth to truly understand the potential impacts...".
12 September 2023 | CBC

Gwich'in celebrate cancellation of oil exploration leases in Alaska's Arctic refuge Social Sharing

The US government administration annouced it is cancelling oil exploration leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, an area that includes the breeding grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd. The herd migrate between Canada and Alaska. Gwich'in leaders say they will continue to push for eglislation to make the area permanently off-limits for oil and gas development. The decision was not poppular with Alaskan politicans and an organization representing the Iñupiat.
8 September 2023 | CBC

Caribou butts and wolf cameos: How motion-activated cameras may reveal the secrets of a healthy Manitoba herd

A News story about ongoing research on the Cape Churchill herd, much of whose territory is protected by Wapusk National Park. The research has used a network of trail cameras to help track caribou location and behaviour. The researchers are trying to determine why this particular herd is stable while many herds are declining - the hypothesis is that the park's protection has much to do with it.
24 August 2023 | CBC

Iqaluit’s caribou harvest for 2023-24 is closed, GN announces

A brief story noting that the community of Iqaluit (capital nad largest community in Nunavut) has reached its caribou hunting quota of 74 animals for the year, and no more caribou hunting will be permitted for the Baffin Island community. The last population estimate for the Baffin herd in 2014 put the number at 4,652. 
21 August 2023 | Nunatsiaq news

OPINION: Alaska’s game management goals for Mulchatna caribou are unrealistic

This is another perpsepctive on the decision by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to undertake large-scale predator control on the range of a migratory caibou herd. The department shot 94 brown bears, along with a few black bears and wolves this spring. While this is not a herd that ranges into Canada, it is an interesting discussion of various aspects of caribou management, including the efficacy of predator control, and the setting of appropriate targets for herd size. 
16 August 2023 | Anchorage Daily News

Herbivore Diversity Helps Maintain Arctic Tundra Diversity

A report on research in Greenland that shows grazing animals such as caribou are likely to contribute to less biodiversity loss in Arctic tundra as the region warms. The study leaders fenced off some area so they could be grazed by caribou, muskox, and Arctic hares and found, "Biodiversity declined more gradually in the grazed plots compared with the ungrazed plots."  
14 August 2023 | Eos

Federal judge upholds pause on pre-development oil work in Arctic refuge

A news story about a judge's order to halt oil and gas survey work in the Alaskan National Widlife Refuge. The refuge contains the calving area of th Porcupine caribou herd. The state of Alaska and some of its agencies have leases in the refuge that would have permitted the first stages of development. The ruling means those who wish to undertake the oil and gas development work must "...await the results of a new environmental assessment expected later this year." The story notes that,"The federal government is expected to deliver a revised environmental impact statement by the end of September, and that could lead to a decision that changes, confirms or voids the ANWR development program altogether."
11 August 2023 | Alaska Beacon

OPINION: Intensive management to help the Mulchatna caribou herd

The Alaskan Department of Fish and Game recently killed nearly 100 bears and several wolves this year in an attempt to revive a declining caribou herd. The Mulchatna herd has dropped from a recorded high of about 200,000 to about 12,000. The department was criticized for the large numbers of bears killed. This is its response.
30 June 2023 | Alaska Daily News

Nunavut Planning Commission submits territory-wide land use plan for approval

A plan to guide development and conservation in Nunavut has been publicly released. To be finalized, the plan must be approved by the governments of Canada and Nunavut, and by the Inuit organization that administers the Nunavut land Claim, Nunvut Tunggavik Incorporated. A spokesperson for conservation organization WWF says the plan's protections for caribou calving grouds are a sign of progress, but he's concerned that those protections could be over-ridden by other elements of the plan.  
23 June 2023 | CBC North