Community Monitoring: A Four-year Summary of the Arctic Borderlands Ecological Knowledge Co-op
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Porcupine Caribou

Reports indicate no significant change in body condition of caribou or incidence of sick animals for the four-year period. There are different opinions on what is happening with the herd population. Many local hunters are skeptical about the reliability of the photo-census method of counting. There are also different opinions on whether the herd is healthy.

Long-term changes and concerns

  • Caribou are observed to be more skittish, reacting more to planes and snowmobiles
  • Migration occurs in smaller, more scattered groups
  • Change in community lifestyle (decrease in total harvest) has resulted in higher population.
  • Increase in caribou population can result in overgrazing of wintering grounds and an unhealthy herd.

Explanations for decrease in herd population

  • “Could be weather when they are calving or wolves.” (AI 98/99)
    “People shooting too many cows; some hunters don't watch which kind of caribou to shoot.” (AG 99/00)
  • “People taking too many caribou on the highway. Cows especially.” (OC 99/00)