Caribou Not Gone - They Simply Moved
Over the years there has been growing concern about the health of several caribou herds, including the Beverly herd of the Kivalliq region in Nunavut. Many areas that were once covered with caribou, are now completely devoid of any caribou and one could travel hundreds of miles without seeing any caribou. The elders of the Inuit tribes believed that the caribou had just moved on, as it is something that has happened before, and the caribou eventually return after several decades. Reasons are unknown, but it could be due to too much disturbance in the area from mineral exploration, or it could be that the caribou needed a different ecosystem - with their old areas simply being depleted. Either way the Beverly herd had moved their calving grounds, farther north into the Queen Maud Gulf area.
The Nunavut territorial government conducted a survey on Beverly caribou for the first time in 17 years this past June, but the preliminary results are not expected until January. From Northern News Services Online.