Sahtì Ekwǫ̀ (Bluenose-East) status upgraded as numbers appear to be improving
One of three caribou herds managed by the Advisory Committee for Cooperation on Wildlife Management (ACCWM) was given an improved herd status by the Wek’èezhìı Renewable Resources Board (WRRB) and the other ACCWM Member Boards in January 2023.
Board Members unanimously supported a proposal from the ACCWM that will see the Sahtì Ekwǫ̀ (Bluenose-East) herd designated with an improved herd status of yellow (increasing). Cape Bathurst was reviewed and recommended to remain at a yellow herd status.
Bluenose-West, the committee’s third herd, was also reviewed with the recommendation it receive an orange herd status to reflect its decreasing numbers. Members of the WRRB also approved that proposal as part of December’s motion.
The ACCWM, which is the only caribou management organization in the NWT existing solely of wildlife co-management boards with no government representation, held its annual status meeting from Nov. 15 to 17, 2022 in Inuvik.
The Sahtì Ekwǫ̀ herd is the only ACCWM managed herd of ɂekwǫ̀ in Wek’èezhìı. After continued data collection for three years in a row from the Tłı̨chǫ Government’s Ekwǫ̀ Nàxoèdee K’è (Boots on the Ground) program at Decha ti (Point Lake), other community monitoring data from across the North, and scientific monitoring, the herd appears to be stable.
“Last year, the WRRB took a precautionary approach to providing a herd status of Sahtì Ekwǫ̀ even while it appeared that the herd was stabilizing,” said WRRB wildlife biologist Laura Meinert.
“We are pleased and hopeful as scientific and community observation data continue to show improving numbers for a herd that is important to the people of Wek’èezhìı.”
The WRRB is among six Member Boards from the NWT and Nunavut that helped to put together the proposal at the latest ACCWM meeting.
The other members include the Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board, Ɂehdzo Got’ı̨nę Gots’ę́ Nákedı – Sahtú Renewable Resources Board, Wildlife Management Area Council (NWT), Tuktut Nogait National Park Management Board, and the Kitikmeot Regional Wildlife Board.
The unique body provides status decisions and advice and recommendations through action plans to help guide the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Tłı̨chǫ governments on management of the Cape Bathurst, Bluenose-West, and Sahtì Ekwǫ̀ herds.
The approved recommendations were submitted to the Government of the Northwest Territories, GN, TG, and NWMB on Feb. 6 for implementation.