QUÉBEC CITY, Feb. 6, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Laurent Lessard, Québec's Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, has announced the migratory caribou sport hunting measures that will apply in Northern Québec for the 2015-2016 season.
"The situation of migratory caribou in Northern Québec is worrying," said Minister Lessard. "As a Government, we are responsible for introducing measures that will safeguard the major contribution made by this species to the culture and food supply of the Aboriginal nations, and the many jobs generated by sport hunting and outfitting operations within the territory. In addition, the species is a symbol of Québec's wildlife heritage, and as such its survival must be ensured. It is for this reason that the Department is being vigilant with respect to its management."
Annual biological data are used to assess population trends between inventories. The Leaf River herd was thought to be fairly stable between 2011 and 2013. However, in the fall of 2014 its population was estimated at roughly 380,000 animals, down by 19% from the same period in 2013. The decline was caused by a low percentage of fawns and a significant drop in the survival rate of mature males and females. All the biological indicators suggest that the herd will continue to decline. Accordingly, more restrictive sport hunting measures are required.
The number of sport hunting licences will therefore be reduced by 20% from 2014-2015 levels. This means that, for 2015-2016, a total of 2,421 licences will be made available, and the harvest limit of two caribou per hunter will be maintained. Licences will be allocated as follows:
- 250 licences issued
- Licences allocated by means of a random draw (125 winners and 125 guides)
- No obligation to use the services of an outfitter
- 1,422 licences issued
Zones 22A and 22B
- Hunting season will begin on December 1 and end on January 31
Zone 23 West
- 749 permits issued
- Hunting season will begin on August 15 and end on October 4
- Province-wide harvest limit of two caribou per hunter per year
"As for the George River herd, sport hunting in Québec was suspended in 2012 for an undetermined period," said Minister Lessard. "Zones 23 East, 23 South and 24 will remain closed to sport hunting until the biological data show that the herd has recovered."
The Newfoundland-and-Labrador Government and the Caribou Ungava research group have joined forces with the Québec Government in order to continue research and monitoring of the Northern Québec migratory caribou herds.
The Cree, Inuit and Naskapi nations will also monitor their own harvests, in accordance with their commitments in this respect. Their contribution is essential in collecting the data needed to ensure that the herds are managed appropriately in the coming years.
Management plans for both migratory caribou herds will be prepared in collaboration with the partners concerned.
Office of the Minister of Forests,
Wildlife and Parks
Tel.: 418 643-7295
Direction des communications
Tel.: 418 627-8609, ext. 3071
SOURCE Cabinet du ministre des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs
For further information: Source: Pierre-Olivier Lussier, Press Officer, Office of the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, Tel.: 418 643-7295; Information: Jacques Nadeau, Media Coordinator, Direction des communications, Tel.: 418 627-8609, ext. 3071