QUÉBEC CITY, Feb. 4, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec (MFFP), working with the Newfoundland and Labrador's Department of Environment and Conservation, has reported on the progress of work to monitor the migratory caribou in the Rivière George herd.
According to the most recent aerial census conducted by biologists from the two provinces, the population in July 2014 was estimated at 14,200 caribous, a 50 per cent decrease in herd size since the 2012 survey. The joint classification work completed in the fall of 2015 shows that while herd recruitment has improved for a second consecutive year, the proportion of large males remains quite low. Based on an analysis of the biological indicators, including survival and recruitment estimates, the herd is continuing its demographic decline. In the fall of 2015, the size of the herd was estimated at around 10,000 caribous.
The governments of Québec and Newfoundland and Labrador have collaborated on the monitoring of the migratory caribou populations on the Ungava Peninsula for over 40 years, and biological monitoring of the Rivière George herd is ongoing. Data gathering and research work is prioritized, in particular to assess the impact of climate change and key predators on the herd. Some of these studies are conducted in partnership with the Caribou Ungava research group, which includes, among others, researchers from six universities and both provincial governments.
It is important to note that Québec prohibited sports hunting of the herd indefinitely in 2012, while the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador imposed a five-year moratorium on hunting in 2013.
A joint management plan for the Rivière George herd is currently being drawn up with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. The process will include consultation with the Aboriginal users, including the Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Coordinating Committee, the Ungava Peninsula Caribou Aboriginal Roundtable, and the main wildlife management partners.
For more information about the MFFP and its activities and work, consult the website mffp.gouv.qc.ca and the social media pages:
Direction des communications
Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs
Phone: 418 627-8609, extension 3071
SOURCE Cabinet du ministre des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs
For further information: Source: Jacques Nadeau, Media relations, Direction des communications, Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs, Phone: 418 627-8609, extension 3071