News last week that the Porcupine caribou herd was growing was welcomed by Alaska and Canadian biologists.
Too bad that’s not happening everywhere.
Of the 22 northland herds monitored by CARMA (the CircumArctic Rangifer Monitoring and Assessment Network), eight are declining:
• Bathurst: 31,900 as of 2009.
• Beverly: Very few as of 2008.
• George River: 74,100 as of 2010.
• Qamanirjuaq: 345,000 as of 2008.
• Sundrun: 28,500 as of 2002.
• Taimyr: 750,000 asof 2003.
• Yana Indigurka: 34,000 as of 2002.
The good news close to home is that Alaska’s biggest herd, the Western Arctic, is considered stable while the Porcupine, Teshekpuk Lake and Central Arctic herds seem to be growing.
CARMA is collaboration among communities, scientists, governments to exchange information on the environment, and status and use of wild populations across the north. Rangifer is a scientific journal dealing exclusively with husbandry, management and biology of arctic and northern ungulates.
-- Mike Campbell