Mar 15, 2013
Study: Beverly caribou decline not as drastic as once feared (“I think habitat deterioration and disturbance is a factor”)
Nunatsiaq News – The Beverly caribou herd lost half its population between 1994 and 2011, a Nunavut government study has found, but the decline is not as bad as officials once feared …
Government-commissioned biologists and 38 community representatives, including 34 Nunavut beneficiaries, two Saskatchewan representatives and two Government of the Northwest Territories’ representatives participated in the field program.
They used cutting-edge digital tools and fly-over visual surveillance of the herd’s calving and foraging grounds for their population estimates – 124,000 Beverly caribou for the summer of 2011.
Reasons for this shift in the calving area are unknown, but it may be related to numerous human and natural factors: range-wide human disturbances, such as road construction and increased hunter access to caribou; harassment by biting insects; food limitations; predation, and forest fires.
- Download Report: “Calving Ground Abundance Estimates of the Beverly and Ahiak Subpopulations of Barren-Ground Caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) – June 2011” (PDF).
- Draft Nunavut Management Framework: “Working Together for Caribou: Draft Nunavut Caribou Strategy Framework Summary Document, March 2010” (PDF).
- Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Management Board: “30th Annual Report for the year ending March 31, 2012” (PDF).
- Nuntsiaq News: “Beverly caribou have been on the move, wildlife biologists says” (Nov. 30, 2011).