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COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Caribou Rangifer tarandus, Barren-ground population in Canada - 2016
COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Caribou (Rangifer tarandus), Barren-ground population in Canada - 2016
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Photo: © A. Gunn.
Table of contents
COSEWIC assessment summary - Caribou - Barren-ground population
COSEWIC Executive summary
Technical summary - Caribou - Barren-ground population (Designatable Unit 3)
Wildlife species description and significance
Name and classification
Population spatial structure and variability
Behavioural basis for subpopulation structure
Genetic basis for subpopulation structure
Subpopulations considered in this report
Historical trends in distribution
Extent of occurrence and area of occupancy
Trends in anthropogenic development
Climate-mediated habitat trends
Migration habitat and lake ice
Life cycle and reproduction
Physiology and adaptability
Dispersal and migration
Parasites and diseases
Population sizes and trends
Sampling effort and methods
Population trend analyses
Fluctuations and trends
Summary: population abundance and trends
Threats and limiting factors
Natural limiting factors
Disturbance and habitat loss
Number of locations
Protection, status and ranks
Legal protection and status
Non-legal status and ranks
Habitat protection and ownership
Acknowledgements and authorities contacted
Biographical summary of report writer(s)
List of figures
Barren-ground Caribou distribution in North America relative to caribou from other designatable units. Alaskan migratory tundra caribou may belong to the same DU.
Caribou subpopulations in the Barren-Ground Caribou DU.
Maximum Barren-ground Caribou range in Canada in the 1990s, based on data compiled from cited traditional knowledge sources (Blyth and Bathe in SARC 2016) and current distribution.
Trend for size of the rut range and straight-line distance between centroid of the annual calving grounds and annual rut ranges for the Bathurst subpopulation.
Annual net primary productivity (ANPP) map indicating patterns of annual above and below-ground productivity in g m
(from Gould et al. 2003).
Leased claims in good standing (developed mines) in the NWT (NWT State of the Environment report, ENR 2015.
Area of land (ha) allotted to prospecting permits and mineral claims (in good standing) per year for the Northwest Territories from 1961-2013 and Nunavut prior to 2001.
Three future human development scenarios for 2040 (Case 1: declining development) for the range of the Bathurst subpopulation to support the Bathurst Caribou Range Planning process. All three focus on different levels of mineral exploration and development activity, and their associated transportation infrastructure. They extend 24 years into the future and were developed based on proposed projects and transportation concepts either in assessment, planned, or with a reasonable likelihood of occurring (Clark et al. 2016).
Three future human development scenarios for 2040 (Case 2: continuing development) for the range of the Bathurst subpopulation to support the Bathurst Caribou Range Planning process. All three focus on different levels of mineral exploration and development activity, and their associated transportation infrastructure. They extend 24 years into the future and were developed based on proposed projects and transportation concepts either in assessment, planned, or with a reasonable likelihood of occurring (Clark et al. 2016).
Three future human development scenarios for 2040 (Case 3: increasing development) for the range of the Bathurst subpopulation to support the Bathurst Caribou Range Planning process. All three focus on different levels of mineral exploration and development activity, and their associated transportation infrastructure. They extend 24 years into the future and were developed based on proposed projects and transportation concepts either in assessment, planned, or with a reasonable likelihood of occurring (Clark et al. 2016).
Human disturbance (footprints) within the range of the Porcupine Caribou subpopulation.
Fire history from 1965 to 2015 within the NWT superimposed on Barren-ground Caribou subpopulation ranges.
Grizzly Bear and Wolf sighting rates during calving ground surveys, NWT and NU, 2007-2008.
Sighting rate in the Bathurst subpopulation range of a) Wolves/100 hours of flying during late winter sex and age composition surveys.
Figure 12b. Sighting rate in the Bathurst subpopulation range of Wolves and Grizzly Bears/10 hours of flying calving ground surveys.
Trend in warble fly (oestrid) index based on 1979-2014 daily temperature and wind speed on the summer range of the Bathurst and Bluenose-East subpopulations.
Estimated percent change in Barren-ground Caribou population size based on population estimates summed over seven subpopulations for each of two estimation methods (IUCN, Exponential) and five generation times (6, 7, 8, 9, 10 years; see text). The median of the 10 estimates and the 25
percentiles are also included.
Estimates of percentage change in population size for each of seven subpopulations of Barren-ground Caribou for each of two estimation methods for population projection (IUCN, exponential) and five generation times (6, 7, 8, 9, 10 years). Abbreviations for subpopulations as in Table 6.
Trend in breeding females (estimate + SE) in Bathurst caribou subpopulation, 1986-2015.
Late winter calf: 100 female ratios and standard error for the Bathurst subpopulation for 1985-2012.
Schematic figure showing relative location of calving along the Queen Maud Gulf coast. Subpopulation names from Gunn et al. (2000a) and Campbell et al. (2014) for the Beverly and Ahiak subpopulations (note that Campbell et al. (2014) renamed Nagy et al.’s (2011) Queen Maud Gulf cluster as Ahiak).
A schematic drawing to illustrate the relationship between the pre-calving 1983 and 1995 survey area relative to the June 1999-2004 and June 2011 survey areas.
Available population survey numbers over three generations for six large and well-surveyed Barren-ground Caribou subpopulations, representing ca. 67% of the total population. See Appendix C for detailed survey data, including error estimates.
List of tables
Barren-ground Caribou subpopulations in Canada and the relative certainty of their delineation, based on duration of study (1972-2014), number of aerial surveys of calving grounds, telemetry, and genetic sampling.
Summary of the period, number of aerial distribution surveys during calving and published or expert opinion sources for eight Barren-ground Caribou subpopulations with the most information.
Descriptive statistics for the number of female Barren-ground Caribou collar years available on/around 10 June 1995 to 2012 for Barren-ground Caribou subpopulations in NWT and NU.
Proposed and operational all-season roads associated with mines on tundra ranges of Barren-ground Caribou, YT, NWT and NU (roads within a mine complex are not included).
Summary of methods for estimating subpopulation size.
Summary of abundance estimates by subpopulation or area derived from surveys during 1984-2015.
Summary of most recent, maximum and minimum recorded estimates and trends (1984–2015) for Barren-ground Caribou subpopulations.
Simulated three-generation population change for seven subpopulations of Barren-ground Caribou and the summed change for all subpopulations (Total Population).
Survey dates and early post-calving calf: adult female ratios for Cape Bathurst and Bluenose-West subpopulations, 2000-2008 (from Davison 2015).
Numbers of calves, breeding and non-breeding females, and calf: 100 females ratio at the peak of calving for the Bathurst subpopulation.
List of management plans and measures for Barren-ground Caribou by subpopulation compiled with publicly available information (August 2016).
Appendices table of contents
Place names mentioned in this report. Active mines/ports and projects in advanced exploration phase are in black font, Projects in early design to small-scale exploration phases are in grey font. Active roads and railways are depicted in complete lines. The locations of proposed road projects mentioned in the report are approximate and are not meant to represent project specifications.
Subpopulations on the Northeast Mainland.
Population estimates from surveys conducted since 1986 for seven Barren-ground subpopulations used to estimate trends and pre-2011 estimates for Beverly and Ahiak subpopulations.
Appendix B figures
Schematic drawing to show subpopulations (green) calving areas and calving areas (blue) on Boothia Isthmus area based on aerial surveys and limited satellite telemetry, 1991-93.
Individual movement trajectories for the Queen Maud Gulf cluster tracked during 1999-2010, and B) the Wager Bay cluster tracked during 2002-2011.
Appendix B table
Summary of Barren-ground Caribou calving areas with six or fewer years with aerial calving surveys and limited telemetry (summarized in Gunn and Fournier 2000; Campbell 2005; Campbell et al. 2012; Nagy and Campbell 2012).
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