Fisheries and Land Resources
January 30, 2018

Provincial Government Plans Co-Management Approach to Conserve Labrador Caribou

Based on the recommendation of Labrador Indigenous governments and organizations, the Provincial Government will not be listing the George River and Torngat Mountains caribou herds as endangered at this time. Recognizing the urgent need to secure a long-term plan for the recovery of the herds, government is working closely with Indigenous governments and organizations to determine the best path forward.

On October 24, 2017, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada recommended the George River and Torngat Mountains Caribou Herds be listed as endangered under the provincial Endangered Species Act.

The Provincial Government may reconsider the listing decision, but only after further consultations have been completed. There has been no sanctioned caribou hunting in Labrador since 2013. Government will maintain the hunting closure at this time, and work in partnership with Indigenous governments and organizations to develop a management approach that will ensure the long-term survival of the herds and maintain the cultural traditions of Indigenous peoples.

The development of this plan will be a collaborative effort, and will be developed in partnership with Indigenous governments and organizations along with colleagues from Québec and the Government of Canada.

The most recent census of the George River Caribou Herd, conducted in July 2016, estimated the population at just 8,938 animals, down from an estimated 74,000 animals in 2010, and well below the estimate historic peak of 775,000 animals.

The Provincial Government has made significant investments into enhanced management, increased biological monitoring and improved collaboration with the Province of Québec. Budget 2017-18 provided $270,000 to fund continued George River Caribou Herd monitoring and scientific research efforts.

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“No approach to the recovery of Labrador caribou herds can be successful without the full support and cooperation of Indigenous governments and organizations. We appreciate the importance of having continued conversations and taking the time necessary to review and consider the information available, gather additional information and ensue our actions reflect our long-term commitment to the recovery of the caribou herds.”
Honourable Gerry Byrne
Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources

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Media contact
Connie Boland
Fisheries and Land Resources
709-637-2923, 640-6409
connieboland@gov.nl.ca

2018 01 30                              1:25 p.m.