Photo credit: John Nagy/GNWT-ENR

Photo credit: John Nagy/GNWT-ENR

WRRB does not support a calving ground survey of Kǫ̀k’èetı̀ Ekwǫ̀ in 2024

The Wek’èezhìı Renewable Resources Board (WRRB) does not support a calving ground survey planned this year for the Kǫ̀k’èetı̀ Ekwǫ̀ (Bathurst Caribou barren-ground caribou) Herd.

WRRB Board members met in Yellowknife on Dec 14 and 15 and discussed a planned calving survey as part of an extension request from the Tłı̨chǫ Government and the Government of the Northwest Territories’ 2022-2024 Joint Management Proposal for Kǫk’èetı (Bathurst) Ekwǫ̀ Herd.

Calving ground surveys are a way to gather population estimates and other herd information for ekwǫ̀. Survey data have allowed management authorities to make decisions on management actions that promote the recovery of Kǫk’èetì ekwo. Currently, the herd’s population is at about 6,240 which is significantly down from 470,000 animals in the mid-eighties.

Board members expressed continued concern that while the need for data from surveys is important, information-gathering methods must be weighed against the disturbance they cause to the sensitive herd. Tłı̨chǫ elders have expressed to the WRRB the need to minimize human interaction with the herd. The Board will also administer an external review of the current joint management proposal process as well as review emigration, survey methods, and their impacts on ekwǫ̀.

A letter regarding the WRRB decision was sent to the Tłı̨chǫ Government and GNWT on January 8, 2024.