Caribou de la toundra

Population surveys

What are the latest population survey results?

Biologists from the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) worked with community observers and our co-management partners to photograph and survey five barren-ground caribou herds in 2021. The next population surveys are scheduled for 2023 and 2024.

The declining trend in Bathurst and Bluenose-East caribou herds is consistent with declines in migratory tundra caribou herds across North America including the George River and Leaf River herds in Quebec/Labrador as well as some herds in Nunavut and Alaska.

2021 Population Survey Results

How we count caribou

Caribou are central to the way of life of Indigenous northerners and have sustained people in the NWT for many generations. However, recent aerial surveys show many barren-ground caribou herds across the NWT and the North are declining. We need the best possible traditional, local and scientific information to help us understand how we can support barren-ground caribou through this current low.

Calving ground photo survey

The videos below explain how we estimate caribou numbers in the NWT. The calving ground photographic survey method is used to count Bathurst and Bluenose-East caribou herds.

Post-calving photo survey

The post-calving photographic survey method is used to count Cape Bathurst, Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula and Bluenose-West caribou herds.