News

Qamanirjuaq caribou are adapting to earlier spring, but that might not stop their decline

A magazine article about research on the Qamanirjuaq herd, showing that the herd is starting its migration earlier and giving birth earlier, likely in response to climate change. The warming climate in the caribou range is leading to earlier greening on the caribou's summer range. The article also mentions concerns about the private sales of meat from the herd.
11 July 2022 | Canadian Geographic

Proposed Meliadine mine extension to be assessed

A mining company is proposing an expansion to its gold mine north of Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. The Agnico Eagle proposal would add wind turbines and an airstrip to the mine. Some local Inuit organization fear the impact on caribou migrations. The proposal is being reviewed by the Nunavut Impact Review Board.
5 July 2022 | Nunatsiaq news

Can beavers catch chronic wasting disease?

A news release about research at the University of Alberta that suggests chronic wasting disease (a disease that affects deer) might also be spread by beavers. The disease has not been shown to exist in caribou, but is increasing in some deer populations in Canada, and the range of infection in also increasing. 
28 June 2022 | Mirage news

Kudz Ze Kayah approval is a ‘blatant disregard’ of First Nations rights: Ross River Dena Chief

The story is about First Nations' reaction to the approval by the territorial and federal governments of a copper, lead and zinc mine in southeast Yukon. The Ross River Dena Council is concerned about the impact of the mine on the Finlayson caribou herd. The proposed mine is located in an area used by the herd for both rutting and calving. The First Nation chiefs had asked for a panel review of the project.
23 June 2022 | Yukon News

Baffin wildlife board makes case for increasing caribou harvest

 A wildlife board representing Inuit in Northeast Nunavut (Qikiqtaaluk Wildlife Board) wants to see an increase in caribou quotas on Baffin Island. The number of caribou on Baffin Island has shrunk drastically in recent years. Local Inuit say the caribou are now increasing, and Inuit knowledge tells them the herds will outstrip the available forage if more are not taken. Meanwhile, Inuit in the northwest of Nunavut want to see the Dolphin and Union herd move from "special concern" to "endangered" under the federal species at risk legislation. That herd was estimated to number about 4,000 in 2018.
17 June 2022 | cbc north

Indigenous resource management guarantees cultural survival, with the benefits passed on to everyone

An opinion piece talking about the place of Indigenous peoples in economic development and environmental management. The article starts with talking about the centrality of caribou to many Indigenous peoples. "Caribou hold pride of place in many Indigenous cultures, providing a primary source of food and playing vital roles in community life. They are also a touchstone species – when threatened, a decline in their well-being is an early indicator of impending ecological collapse. "
14 June 2022 | Macdonald laurier institute

Once eager to drill, oil companies exit leases in Arctic refuge

Three big oil firms have pulled out of oil drilling leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. The refuge is the calving grounds for the porcupine caribou herd that migrates between between Alaska, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories. Drilling in the area has been a contested issue for decades. The Gwich'in people who rely on the herd have been vocal opponents of drilling in the area.
3 June 2022 | Washington Post

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-makes-contentious-change-to-moose-caribou-hunt-in-northeast-1.6461683

A story about how British Columbia has restricted caribou and moose hunting in part of the province in response to a 2021 court ruling on the treaty rights of First Nation. "The court said the province failed to maintain the nation's rights to hunt, fish and trap without interference. While no single project had a devastating effect on the community, the court said the cumulative impact of a series of projects limited the nation's ability to maintain its rights." Critics quoted in the story say the province has failed to deal with the larger problem of cumulative effects of industrial impacts.
24 May 2022 | CBC

Caribou protection called most problematic area of draft land-use plan

The news story says "The Nunavut Planning Commission says caribou protection is the top concern it hears about when it comes to its draft land-use plan." Hearings on the land use plan are scheduled until January 2023.
12 May 2022 | Nunatsiaq News

What caribou do, without you: Fortymile herd outfitted with cameras

A news story on the data obtained from video cameras attached to collared caribou with the Fortymile herd that migrates between Alaska and Yukon. Analysis of the video allows for estimates of what proportions of different foods the caribou are eating, and of how long they spend in different activities.
2 May 2022 | Yukon News