I know we all knew it’s concerning but it’s worse than I thought. Beyond the Porcupine herd it’s basically dismal news. The most incredible and scary decline was that of the George River herd with a recorded peak of 780,000 animals which slid all the way to 5,200 animals and now sits at 8,300.
Most concerning is they don’t necessarily know what’s to blame.
Maybe caribou herds have had undocumented peaks and valleys in their populations since the beginning of their existence.
I do agree, it's pretty drastic the changes some of the herds are experiencing, what's the answer?
>"Dickie, along with fellow UBCO researchers Dr. Clayton Lamb and Dr. Adam Ford, describe the decline in caribou populations as an ecological puzzle. Typically, there are multiple factors, all changing at once, making it hard to identify how the pieces fit together. Factors such as predation from wolves and other large carnivores, increasing moose and deer populations, and habitat alteration through resource extraction and wildfires all play a part. The study aimed to sort out the roles each of these play in caribou population declines."
The Ministry would like to inform clients that the maps only show the migration of the Leaf River Herd. Given concerns about the George River Herd, the Ministry stopped its seasonal publishing in November 2010.
Since August 2014, the maps show the distribution area of the Leaf River Herd during a given period and no longer show the location and movement of individual animals. Outlines indicate the approximate distribution area of the population using data from over one hundred individuals of one year and older in an approximate proportion of 70% females and 30% males.
Although the sample of caribou fitted with a telemetric collar is an overall representation of the population, other caribou are likely to be found outside the outlines shown on the map.
"........Using a sufficient number of collars on individuals of both sexes, aerial surveys have been conducted based on “capture-mark-recapture” techniques. According to the most recent population survey completed in 2018, the George River Herd comprised roughly 5,500 caribou. This is a 38% decline from the previous survey (2016), and 99% since 1993, the year of most abundant survey result, when this population was estimated at approximately 820,00 caribou. Carried out in 2016, the latest survey of the Leaf River Herd showed a herd size of 199,000 caribou, a 67% decrease compared to 600,000 individuals estimated in 2001. The annual monitoring of the survival rates of adults and of the calf to female ratio suggests that this herd was in decline this year and estimated at 187,000 in November 2018 by the population modeling derived from the 2016 aerial survey result."
Hmmm, wonder why they didn't mention Anthropogenic Climate Change" as a primary causative factor in that laundry list?