A plan developed by a multi-stakeholder working group to address changes on the traditional range of the Bathurst caribou herd was released today.
The Bathurst Caribou Range Plan will help decision-makers manage activities on the land in a way that supports the recovery of the Bathurst herd, while providing clarity on land use and access for developers, regulators and residents of the Northwest Territories (NWT).
Barren-ground caribou populations have historically experienced periods of highs and lows. Over the last 30 years, the Bathurst herd has declined by more than 98 per cent despite extensive efforts to support caribou conservation and promote herd recovery. It has dropped from a high of about 450,000 caribou in the mid-1980s, to a current low of about 8,200 animals. In the last three years alone, it has decreased by more than half.
The Bathurst Caribou Range Plan recognizes the role of northerners as caribou guardians and the shared responsibility for managing development to support the recovery of the herd. It includes guidance for managing the overall amount of disturbance on the land, as well as seven management tools to reduce and manage impacts to caribou and caribou habitat.
“I am confident the Bathurst Caribou Range Plan provides effective tools and approaches to support caribou recovery and look forward to the cooperation and support of all our partners and stakeholders to ensure its successful implementation.”
- Robert C. McLeod, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources
- The Bathurst Caribou Range Plan reflects more than five years of collaboration and partnership with 21 governments and stakeholders that incorporates both traditional and scientific knowledge in its approach.
- The working group that developed the plan includes representatives from federal, territorial and Indigenous governments and organizations in the NWT, Nunavut and Saskatchewan, as well as industry and non-government organizations. Feedback from two rounds of extensive public consultation have also been incorporated into the plan.
- The range plan is one of many actions being taken by the Government of the Northwest Territories and its co-management partners to help protect caribou and promote their recovery.
- The Bathurst Caribou Range Plan will continue to evolve over time. The groups that helped develop the plan will continue to assess it going forward.
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