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Declining Caribou: Shared Concerns, Shared Solutions

Sept 11-13, 2012


Manitoba Conservation
Daryll Hedman

Caribou Management
Manitoba Conservation
Caribou Ranges of
Manitoba
Barrenground
migratory (tundra & forest)
smaller bodied
Boreal woodland
forest dwelling
larger bodied
Coastal
migratory like barrenground
larger bodied like boreal
woodland
antlers similar in size to
barrenground, shaped like
woodland
Shamattawa
Fox Lake First Nation/Gillam
Pen Islands
Kaskattama
River
Nelson
River
York
Factory
RMA
Fox Lake
RMA
Background
Higher use of coastal Pen Island area by caribou noted in early 1970s

Hunting by Fort Severn along coast in 1970s, by Shamattawa in early 1980s

Government started making counts of caribou in 1980s

Intensive 3-year study initiated by OMNR in 1987
summer and winter studies

Collaring program
1987 - 23 caribou
1988 - 27 caribou
active collars: 24 females, 15 males (expanding collars)

Locations from telemetry flights used to describe range

Aerial coastal surveys
4 transects paralleling coast, 5km apart
1987 & 1988 6 surveys
estimate = 7424
photographs taken for large groups

Separate herd composition surveys
1987 & 1988 aerial surveys (same transects as coastal survey, groups<100
determined)
1989 ground survey

Harvest information
Collected from Fort Severn and Shamattawa by hired local - summer and winter
harvest information
Resident licensed harvest info collected by government


Background
Results of OMNR survey

Distribution
Caribou on coast by 3
rd
week May each year
Calving area: Kettle River, MB to Niskibi River, ON (90km)
selected for predator avoidance, then food
Cows grouped together until calved, then isolate, then form larger nursery groups
Bulls separated on calving ground periphery
selected for food availability
All age/sex come together mid June
Peak aggregation in mid July from Cape Tatnum, MB to Niskibi River, ON
Rutting period from mid Sept to mid October - groups move inland
Rutting groups up to 30 animals
Caribou move inland late October 400 km inland by early December
Winter distribution varies annually throughout MB,ON
Start moving north by March at the coast by late April
Background
Predators
wolves - absent during spring surveys, low numbers seen in winter
black bears - seen near edges of calving grounds - no predation seen

Mortality based on collared caribou was 10-13%

Collected harvest information was variable - as low as 4.3% (319/7424) during study
period, up to 11.9% (884/7424) after study period in 1991-1992

Birth rate approximately 95%

Early calf mortality (within 3 weeks) = 12%

1987 - 27 yearling:100 adult , 1987 - 37 yearling:100 adult

Harvest info collection:
12 Fort Severn hunters submitted jaws, no participation from Shamattawa
hunters
Visits by government to Fort Severn, Shamattawa, Gods Lake - reluctance to
share a lot of info




Background

2 1935
Pen Island Caribou Survey
July 1997
433
503
103
428
468
8000+

Pen Island Caribou Survey
July 2008



Manage harvest and habitat for the needs of people directly affected by herd

Cooperative management - RMBs and management plans

Cross-jurisdictional management process needs to be developed with commitment by
First Nations and MB/ON governments

Combine ATK and science

Evaluate herd size, harvest level, recruitment, distribution and critical habitat areas
Program planning, education and information sharing
Consistent surveys



What is needed
Project Proposal
10 collars 2 years 15 collars 2 years 20 collars 2 years
10 Collars 39,000 15 Collars 58,500

20 Collars 78,000

Accessories 755 Accessories 755

Accessories 755

10 Captures
($2000/caribou)
20,000 15 Captures
($2000/caribou)
30,000 20 Captures ($2000/caribou) 40,000
Pre-flight search
(10 hrs)
10,200

Pre-flight search
(12 hrs)
12,240

Pre-flight search
(15 hrs)
15,300

10 Drop-offs 3,500 15 Drop-offs 5,250 20 Drop-offs 7,000
Collar retrieval flight (10
hrs)
10,200

Collar retrieval flight
(12 hrs)
12,240

Collar retrieval flight
(15 hrs)
15,300

Jet B (15 drums) 4,500 Jet B (18 drums) 5,400 Jet B (24 drums) 7,200
Argos (6 hrs/8
days/month)
11,666 Argos (6 hrs/8
days/month)
17,500 Argos (6 hrs/8 days/month) 23,333
$99,821 $141,885 $186,888
Partnership funding required Fox Lake RMB, York Factory RMB,
Manitoba Hydro, Manitoba Conservation, Sustainable Development
Innovations Fund (MC)

Resource Management Board Caribou Monitoring
Project
63 Collars deployed to date:
2010: 19 (9 PI, 10 CC)
2011: 13 PI
2012: 31 (15 PI, 16 CC)

40 collars deployed as of
January 2012: 21 PI, 19 CC

18 mortalities: 13 PI, 5 CC
Wolf kill, hunter harvest,
natural, unconfirmed



Big Horn Helicopters



Proper handling procedures used to reduce stress
level
Lots of data!

Pen Island Caribou
Wolf Collaring
Young male

Travelled over
10,000 km in 16
months

Adult female
travelled approximately
4000 km in 4 months
Pen Island and Cape Churchill
Coastal Caribou
Range Distribution Project Update
Fox Lake
Resource Management Board
April 19, 2011

Caribou Collaring 161 captures throughout MB



Jack Massan, Fox Lake








Joe Saunders, York Factory










Biological Samples
Feces
Genetics
Pregnancy
Parasites
Protostrongylus
Paratuberculosis
Hair
Stress hormones
Blood
Genetics
Pregnancy
Toxoplasma and neospora
parasites
P. Tenuis (brainworm)
Brucella bacteria



















THE END!

and



Photo by R. Mulders
Presentation from:
Beverly and Qamanirjuaq
Caribou
Management Board
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Photo courtesy of Gov. NWT
What is the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq
Caribou Management Board (BQCMB)?
Advisory board - makes recommendations to
governments and communities
Co-management board /Co-operative partnership
- communities and governments
- working together
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What is the BQCMB?
Photo courtesy of CARMA K. Joly
Not government or regulatory board
(does not make regulations or laws)
Not established through land claims
Can work with communities to make change happen
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BQCMB - established almost
30 years ago (in 1982)
BQCMB Photo
Who is the Caribou Management Board
(BQCMB)?
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Photo courtesy of
D. Vetra
Board members (13 total):
- 8 from communities, 5 from governments
(provincial, territorial, and federal)
- from SK, MB, NU and NWT
Staff: Executive Director (part-time), contractors
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Vice-chair:
Daryll Hedman
Chair :
Albert Thorassie
Vice-chair:
Tim Trottier
Executive
Director:
Ross
Thompson

Photo by
K. Hunter
Photo by
D. Vetra
Photo by L. Wakelyn
BQCMB
Executive
Photo by
M. Soubliere
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BQCMB Goal:
Caribou for the future!

What Does the BQCMB Do and Why?
Photo by
G. Frey
BQCMB Funding - On the Land
Photo by B. Ukutak
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Photo by S. Cavanagh
Photo by
S. Cavanagh
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Photo by T. Trottier
Photo by D. Thomas Photo by D. Thomas

Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Range
Photo by J. Stephenson
Number of caribou
harvested:
about 14,000
(2005-06 estimate)

Net economic
value:
at least
$20 million
(each year)
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Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou
Annual Harvest and Economic Value
Photo by
G. Frey
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Photo by J. Stephenson
Photo by R. Mulders
Beverly caribou:
harvested by
10 communities
in SK, NWT,
NU, AB
Qamanirjuaq
caribou:
harvested by
13 communities
in NU, MB, SK
Map adapted
from figure
provided by
CARMA
Global
caribou
declines
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B
Q
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Many things are affecting
caribou
Photo courtesy of CARMA A. Gunn
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Photo by A. Thorassie
BQCMB is concerned about
the future of caribou and
people who depend on caribou
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1) Protect important habitats

2) Protect caribou from disturbance, habitat loss

3) Take no more caribou than you need

4) Prevent wastage

5) Harvest bulls instead of cows when possible

6) Encourage traditional harvest of predators

How can we help declining caribou herds?
BQCMB Caribou Workshop
23-25 February 2010

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Workshop brought together elders, hunters and
others

Artwork by D. Urquhart Photo by R. Mulders

What is causing caribou herds to decline?
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climate
change
disturbance
habitat
loss
predators
poor
hunting
practices
All of these factors and others:
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We all need to work together
and to do our part to help caribou

Photo courtesy of CARMA A. Gunn
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BQCMB
BQCMB
www.arctic-caribou.com
Thank
you
Photo courtesy of CARMA A. Gunn
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1. Protect important habitats
2. Protect caribou from
disturbance, habitat loss
3. Take no more caribou than you
need
4. Prevent wastage
5. Harvest bulls instead of cows
when possible
6. Encourage traditional harvest
of predators

The End
Thank You