Nunavut summit to discuss caribou decline

Caribou management has become one of the defining issues of the last decades in Canada's arctic.(File)
Caribou management has become one of the defining issues of the last decades in Canada’s arctic.(File)

A major caribou workshop begins today in Iqaluit, the capital city of Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut.

It will explore the question of whether Baffin Island caribou need a management plan to reduce hunting.

Research data suggest the Baffin population may have declined by more than 95 per cent in the last two decades.

Biologists estimate the entire South Baffin population to now be at around 1,000 to 2,000 animals.

David Akeeagok is the deputy minister of Environment for Nunavut.

He says the territorial government has invited two representatives from each of the hunters and trappers organizations in 10 of Baffin Island’s communities, along with other co-management partners.

“What we’re hoping to get out of this workshop is to figure out if there’s any measures to be taken. So we’ll be listening and sharing the knowledge from participants,” he said.

Wildlife management in Nunavut involves a variety of boards. Akeeagok said he expects this meeting will be the first of many on the topic.

“I’m happy that they are coming to town. We’ll also be hearing about how Grise Fiord dealt with their caribou population slump, as well as from hunters in Coral Harbour,” he said.

The caribou workshops start today and will wrap up tomorrow.

Related Link:

Archive: Caribou Numbers Plummet in Baffin Island Survey

CBC News

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