Minister Simard is closely monitoring the decrease in caribou herd size.
As he had promised, the Minister for Natural Resources and Wildlife, Mr. Serge Simard, released the results of the Leaf River caribou herd (LRH) survey that was conducted in 2011.
Northern Québec and Labrador migratory caribou are grouped in two distinct herds, the LRH and the George River herd (GRH). The latter herd's survey had been conducted in 2010. However, due to adverse weather conditions, it had then been impossible to proceed with the LRH survey.
Thus survey activities on LRH were done in May and July 2011. An analysis of the results shows that the herd totals 430,000 caribou, with a confidence interval of 23%, which is in line with the precision target in this type of wildlife survey. Moreover, the adult survival rate and the annual calf recruitment are low, which indicates that this herd is in a decreasing phase.
"Although the population of the LRH is still relatively large, we must keep exercising care, since biological monitoring indicate that the herd size is decreasing. It is therefore important to maintain very stringent management objectives," said Mr. Simard.
With regards to the GRH, the data collected during biological follow-ups show that the adult survival rate and the annual calf recruitment are very low. The GRH has continued to decline in 2011.
"These recent survey and follow-up results confirm that we must devote specific attention to both herds. We are pursuing our work with the Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Coordinating Committee. We wish to announce the hunting measures for the 2012-2013 season before mid-December. Of course, these will have to take into account the decreasing size of the herds," concluded Minister Simard.