The Government of Canada has just leant a hand to conservation efforts in the Northwest Territories.
On December 2nd, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced that the Government of Canada will support the Government of Northwest Territories’ actions to conserve barren-ground caribou by investing $3.8 million in three conservation projects. The Government of Northwest Territories will provide an equal investment of $3.8 million.
These projects will monitor barren-ground caribou, their habitats, and threats that may be affecting herds in the Northwest Territories by using Indigenous and Western science and knowledge. Projects also aim to conserve and protect barren-ground caribou populations and their habitats by working to minimize human and predator impacts, and identifying important barren-ground caribou habitats such as calving grounds and migratory routes for conservation.
These actions have been identified as priorities in the 2020 Recovery Strategy for barren- ground caribou in the Northwest Territories.
The funding is part of the Enhanced Nature Legacy initiative that enables significant, targeted investments and partnerships to drive protection and recovery for a large number of species throughout the country and respond to threats to Canada’s ecosystem and wildlife.
Barren-ground caribou populations have been declining for several years. The current population of barren-ground Caribou is estimated at about 800,000 individuals. A number of threats are thought to be causing the decline of barren-ground caribou, including climate change, industrial activities, and harvest. The Government of Northwest Territories has listed barren-ground caribou as threatened under their species at risk legislation. The territory and its co-management partners have management plans, which provide direction for the management of barren-ground caribou herds.