‘More officers on the ground’ to combat illegal caribou harvesting

Caribou
Barren-ground caribou have been in serious decline in the NWT since the 1990s. (Supplied by ENR.)
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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is putting more officers on the ground to combat illegal harvesting of barren-ground caribou.

In a statement posted to Facebook, the department said they have had increased reports of people hunting within the Mobile Core Bathurst Caribou Management Zone, where hunting is banned.

The zone is a mobile wildlife management zone for barren-ground caribou which is updated every Tuesday under the Wildlife Act.

“With recent reports of illegal harvesting in and around the Mobile Core Bathurst Caribou Management Zone, we urge harvesters to adhere to the Mobile Zone and the Wildlife Act,” Environment and Natural Resources said in a statement.

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“ENR has more officers on the ground actively enforcing harvesting rules by truck and snowmachine, and will be doing active aerial enforcement patrols.”

The zone roughly follows the migration of the Bathurst herd of barren-ground caribou, who have undergone a “dramatic decline” since the 1990s, according to NWT Species at Risk.

With recent reports of illegal harvesting in and around the Mobile Core Bathurst Caribou Management Zone, we urge…

Posted by Environment & Natural Resources – North Slave Region on Sunday, 21 February 2021

Barren-ground Caribou migrate long distances northwards in the spring to breed and travel southwards in the fall to their traditional winter range.

On their website, the GNWT says they do not make caribou locations or numbers publicly available due to “significant conservation concerns.” 

If someone is suspected of having hunted barren ground caribou illegally, their meat is confiscated and a court appearance can follow if the meat was deemed to be hunted illegally.

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