The Boreal Caribou project is collecting ecological information on Tǫdzı (Boreal woodland caribou) from Tłı̨chǫ elders and harvesters, as well as from available scientific research. To date, research on boreal caribou in the NWT has been limited. Tǫdzı are known to be sensitive to their environment. In this project, we hope to learn more about the caribou’s habitat and habitat requirements. How do Tǫdzı use their habitat now? Which areas do they prefer? What are their movements throughout the year? How do natural disturbances such as forest fires affect their habitat use and movements? And how might their behavior and use of habitat be changed if there are changes in their environment? This ongoing project, initiated in 2011 by the Wek’èezhìı Renewable Resources Board in collaboration with the Tłı̨chǫ Government, will assist the WRRB and its wildlife management partners in effective management and protection of tǫdzı in Wek’èezhìı.
Two research projects are currently underway to collect Tłı̨chǫ and scientific knowledge on caribou habitat and habitat use after forest fire. A WRRB research project, led by Dr. Allice Legat working with Whatì community researchers and elders is gathering information to better understand the impacts of fire on tǫdzı habitat and to monitor when tǫdzı return to burn areas. In the second project, a research team from Wilfrid Laurier University is conducting a scientific study on vegetation communities associated with tǫdzı and Ekwǫ̀ (Barrenground caribou) habitat that has been disturbed by forest fire.
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