George River Caribou Herd Continues Decline
February 5, 2016
A recent survey of Labrador’s George River Caribou Herd conducted by the Department of Environment and Conservation in collaboration with the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs in Quebec indicates that the population is continuing to decline, despite an increase in calf survival. Data collected in the fall of 2015 were used to estimate the population at 10,200 animals, down from approximately 20,000 in 2013.
“The need for conservation of the George River Herd and all caribou in Labrador is paramount. While recent calf numbers show a positive trend, overall numbers continue to decline, causing grave concern. We will continue to work with our colleagues in Quebec and with Aboriginal governments and organizations to make sound decisions about future conservation strategies.”
– The Honourable Perry Trimper, Minister of Environment and Conservation
The results of the work carried out by the two provinces show calf survival rates have increased to 20 per cent, up from 17 per cent in 2014 and 10 per cent in 2013. While this trend is encouraging, the large male population has dropped to five per cent, down from nine per cent in 2014, and overall adult mortality remains high at 30 per cent.
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is committed to the responsible management of the George River Caribou Herd. A five-year ban on hunting was implemented in 2013, with a review scheduled at year two. This review is nearing completion.
- Labrador’s George River Caribou Herd population is currently estimated at 10,200, down from approximately 20,000 in 2013.
- While calf survival rates have increased, adult mortality rates and declining numbers of adult males are contributing to an overall decline in the herd’s numbers.
- A five-year ban on hunting was implemented in 2013, with a review scheduled at year two. This review is nearing completion.
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Director of Communications
Department of Environment and Conservation