The Bluenose-East ɂekwǫ̀ (barren-ground caribou) herd has been assessed as “Orange” again this year – a designation that means the herd’s population is intermediate and decreasing. At its February 2018 Board meeting, the WRRB approved the Orange status for 2018-2019. The herd’s range includes Wek’èezhìı, and the WRRB shares in the co-management of the herd.
The ACCWM (Advisory Committee for Cooperation on Wildlife Management) met last November 2017 to decide on the herd’s status after reviewing information on Bluenose-East caribou from community monitoring and science. The ACCWM also assessed the Bluenose-West herd as Orange and the Cape Bathurst herd as Red. Red indicates that a population is low.
The ACCWM is now preparing updated action plans for conserving each of the three herds. Deciding which actions to take and when depends on how a particular herd is doing. Each herd status or colour zone has recommended management actions related to harvest management, predators, land use, habitat, and education.
Recommended actions include actions to reduce the effects of land use activities on these caribou; reviewing possible options for predator management; recommending a mandatory limit on sustainable harvest and harvest of mostly bulls; and education initiatives on topics such as ways of harvesting respectfully.
Management planning for the Bluenose-East, Bluenose-West and Cape Bathurst caribou herds is guided by the Taking Care of Caribou Management Plan.