inuvialuit game council pcmb annual harvest meeting n.
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Inuvialuit Game Council PCMB Annual Harvest Meeting. February 8-10, 2011 Inuvik, NWT. Inuvialuit Game Council. Represents the collective Inuvialuit interest in wildlife Appoints members to the co-management and other boards with any aspect of wildlife usage in the ISR

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inuvialuit game council
Inuvialuit Game Council
  • Represents the collective Inuvialuit interest in wildlife
    • Appoints members to the co-management and other boards with any aspect of wildlife usage in the ISR
    • Advises governments on policy, legislation, regulation, and administration respecting wildlife, conservation, research, management and enforcement
    • Assign community hunting and trapping areas
    • Review and advise government on existing or proposed wildlife legislation
    • Review and advise government on any proposed Canadian position for international purposes that affects ISR wildlife, and appoint members to any Canadian delegations dealing with matters affecting wildlife harvesting in the ISR
    • Allocate quotas among the communities
inuvialuit game council1
Inuvialuit Game Council
  • The IGC is made up of 6 Directors and a Chair
  • Each Hunters and Trappers Committee (HTC) appoints one Director and one Alternate
  • The Chair is elected by the 42 HTC Directors
  • The IGC is 100% Inuvialuit membership
caribou movements
Caribou Movements
  • Concerns over lack of attention to possible shifting of caribou between herds
  • Often not considered by researchers due to lack of collar transfer between herds, but…
  • Proportion of collars on the herd is very small compared to overall population levels
  • Cannot dismiss the possibility of movement of caribou between herds based on current information available
  • Correlations apparent in some overlapping populations where concurrent declines and increases being observed
    • E.g. Porcupine/Central Arctic, Bluenose East/Bathurst
declines or possible shifting
Declines? … Or possible shifting?

Porcupine Caribou herd shows apparent decline of ~40,000 at first glance

But, when viewed in the context of its most immediately neighbouring and overlapping herd…

Central Arctic herd shows an apparent doubling in size in six years – an increase of ~30,000 caribou – after a number of years of relative population stability

This raises questions and anecdotally supports the TK information from communities

Graph Source: CARMA website (

declines cont d
Declines? (cont’d)

Population surveys are showing that the Bathurst herd has significantly declined in a very short period – decline of ~90,000 caribou in 3 years based on survey results

Compare to Bluenose East population data, where an increase of ~40,000 caribou has been observed in 4 years

The data raises serious and significant questions from the communities about what might really be happening with the herds

Graph Source: CARMA website

link to traditional knowledge tk
Link to Traditional Knowledge (TK)
  • Example:
    • TK from Tuktoyaktuk elder suggests that the caribou in that area disappeared in the early 1920s.
    • There were no caribou in the area for many years, but caribou were being harvested around the Paulatuk area at that time.
    • In the mid-1970s hunters from Tuktoyaktuk got the first caribou “in the area” – had to travel 100+ miles and harvested three caribou
    • Each subsequent year more caribou were harvested closer and closer to Tuktoyaktuk
    • Caribou abundant in the area around Tuktoyaktuk in the 1980s and 1990s, but there was very little in the Paulatuk area at that time
    • Now in the late 2000s caribou largely disappeared from Tuktoyaktuk area, but are being harvested year-round near Paulatuk
    • Suggestive of 40-50 year cycle for the caribou in this area
traditional knowledge tk
Traditional Knowledge (TK)
  • TK suggests that caribou move in and out of areas over time
  • Elders told hunters to take advantage of caribou when they are around because they will ‘go away again’
  • Older hunters not overly concerned with herd declines because they are viewed as part of a natural, long term cycling of populations and movements between different areas
  • Would like to see researchers have more confidence in TK explanations; feeling it is usually acknowledged, but generally ignored when trying to explain what is happening
inuvialuit confidence in research
Inuvialuit Confidence in Research
  • Confidence of the IGC and communities has been shaken with respect to use of model predictions
  • The Caribou Calculator model predicted a decline, but the observations are suggesting an increase from the last census
  • Questions about whether the model was being applied appropriately
  • Restrictions on aboriginal harvesting rights were implemented based on the incorrect model predictions
  • Inuvialuit don’t dispute that there are likely declines, however, the exact magnitude of these declines remains unclear
inuvialuit management of caribou
Inuvialuit Management of Caribou
  • Inuvialuit take sustainability of caribou very seriously
  • Three National Parks established within the ISR to protect caribou calving grounds
  • Inuvialuit have made tough decisions when necessary:
    • Suspension of allharvesting over the range of the Cape Bathurst herd due to concerns of significant population decline to < 2000 caribou
    • Closure of an open harvesting area for 2 ½ months when the Cape Bathurst herd may be moving through the area
    • Establishment of a Total Allowable Harvest and a tag system for the Bluenose West herd to ensure harvesting remains sustainable
      • Not all communities agreed that there necessarily was a decline, but agreed to abide by the management actions being implemented
  • Real hardships being experienced in the communities because not all the needs are being met
harvest management plan
Harvest Management Plan
  • IGC supports the Harvest Management Plan
    • Process underway to finalize support for the Implementation Plan
  • Collection of harvest data has begun using implementation funds to support
  • Continuing to educate Inuvialuit beneficiaries about the HMP and encouraging harvesting of bulls when they are in the best shape
annual harvest meeting igc recommendations
Annual Harvest Meeting – IGC Recommendations
  • Based on the HMP the Porcupine Caribou herd is in the Green Zone – apply management actions as per HMP (e.g. Interim Measures should be repealed)
  • Harvest data collection will continue
  • Hunter education initiatives must continue
  • Check stations should remain to continue to promote the HMP and its objectives – user groups must be involved in operations
  • Voluntary sample kits should continue to be distributed to harvesters
annual harvest meeting igc recommendations cont d
Annual Harvest Meeting – IGC Recommendations (cont’d)
  • Key indicators should continue to be monitored annually
  • Photo census should be scheduled for every 3 years (similar to what is happening with NWT herds)
  • Model (including revised version and relevant data) used for population projections must be made available to all the Parties and the co-management boards in order to conduct their own analyses
  • Government monitoring of harvest must be applied equally in all areas of significant harvest activity (e.g. Dempster Hwy, Old Crow)
annual harvest meeting igc recommendations cont d1
Annual Harvest Meeting – IGC Recommendations (cont’d)
  • Attention needs to be paid to the issue of caribou movements between herds
  • Communities are not convinced that there is not significant movement between herds
  • If this is to be researched more thoroughly then discussions must start soon
    • Significant financial considerations – possible allocation of IFA implementation funds
    • “Philosophical” considerations
      • e.g. more collaring would be required; is this what communities would want?