Barren-ground Caribou

Bathurst Caribou Management Plan


The Bathurst caribou herd has undergone a significant decline – with a decrease of nearly 98% since 1986.   

A management plan to help stop that trend and support recovery has been developed by the Bathurst Caribou Advisory Committee (BCAC).

This management plan will bring people together to guide efforts taking action throughout the caribou herd’s natural cycle. 

The management plan builds on the 2019 Bathurst Caribou Range Plan – which outlines a balanced approach to managing land use and habitat protection to support Bathurst caribou conservation and recovery. 

The plan includes “management actions” – which means steps all co-management partners can take to support Bathurst caribou and the long-term resilience of the herd.


The Bathurst Caribou Management Plan seeks to achieve the following goals:

  • Harvest: Ensure harvest levels are sustainable and caribou are conserved over time.
  • Habitat & Disturbance: Manage land use and disturbance to caribou so that the herd is conserved within its natural range.
  • Predators: Reduce the impact of predators on caribou based on the best available information, and reflecting Indigenous values and laws.
  • Research & Monitoring: Learn more about Bathurst caribou and their habitat.
  • Communication & Education: Educate people about Bathurst caribou conservation, respectful harvesting and land use.

Taking Action Based On Herd Status

The management plan outlines specific actions all parties should take to help the  Bathurst herd recover.

These actions are based on herd status – which is the number of  caribou in the herd, and whether the population is increasing or decreasing.

If the Bathurst herd is decreasing or at low numbers, there will be stronger actions taken to protect the herd. If the herd is increasing or at high numbers, actions will be adjusted to reflect the health of the herd.

Herd status and management actions will be reviewed regularly by the GNWT and its co-management partners to make sure we are on the right track.

Below are the herd status categories.

  • Critical low – less than 30,000 animals
  • Low and increasing – between 30-100,000 animals
  • Medium and increasing – between 100,000 and 350,000 animals
  • High – more than 350,000
  • Medium and decreasing – between 100,000 and 350,000
  • Low and decreasing – between 30,000 and 100,000

Read the plan

Get the details on actions we will all take to protect Bathurst caribou: Bathurst Caribou Management Plan. 

Bathurst Caribou Advisory Committee

The BCAC was formed in 2017. It is made up of 14 governments and organizations from the NWT,Nunavut and Saskatchewan representing communities that have traditionally interacted with the Bathurst Caribou Herd.

Together, they developed this plan and will put it into action.

The committee includes:

Public Governments

  • Government of the Northwest Territories
  • Government of Nunavut

Indigenous Governments and Organizations

  • Tłı̨chǫ Government
  • Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
  • Athabasca Denesųłiné Néné Land Corporation
  • Yellowknives Dene First Nation
  • Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation
  • Northwest Territories Métis Nation
  • North Slave Métis Alliance
  • Salt River First Nation
  • Deninu K'ue First Nation

Other Management Authorities

  • Wek’èezhìı Renewable Resources Board
  • Kitikmeot Regional Wildlife Board
  • Kugluktuk Angoniatit Association (Hunters and Trapper Organization)
  • Umingmaktok Hunters and Trappers Organization (Bay Chimo)
  • Burnside Hunters and Trappers Organization (Bathurst Inlet)
  • Ekaluktutialik Hunters and Trappers Organization (Cambridge Bay)