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Environment and Conservation
March 3, 2011

Caribou Surveys Being Conducted on Province’s South Coast Herds

As part of the ongoing research and management efforts for woodland caribou on the island portion of the province, a mark-resight population census is now underway on the south coast caribou herds. The survey is taking place west of the Bay d’Espoir Highway and south of the Trans Canada Highway, and involves the Pot Hill, Gaff Topsails, Grey River, Buchans and La Poile caribou herds.

“Caribou are an important resource to the people of this province from a recreational, social and economic point of view,” said the Honourable Ross Wiseman, Minister of Environment and Conservation. “We are committed to prudent and science-based sustainable management of our caribou herds, and population data is a very critical component of this management.”

As part of a mark-resight census, there is a requirement for a number of caribou to be marked using a highly visible red paint. Once a number of animals in the herd have been marked, they are counted, and the relative ratio of marked animals versus unmarked animals establishes the total population estimate for each herd. Neither the marking of the caribou, nor the paint itself, poses any harm to the animal. As the marked caribou lose their winter coat in the spring, the red marking will also disappear from the animals.

“The management of all of the wildlife species we have in our province relies on the valuable research that is conducted which, in turn, helps guide the strategic decisions we must make as a government to ensure their viability,” said Minister Wiseman. “It is integral that we have information on all aspects of our valuable wildlife resources, and census work provides an important piece of that information.”

The public are also advised that low-level flying aircraft will be used in the area to conduct this census work. The census will be ongoing until the end of March.

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Media contact:

Melony O’Neill
Director of Communications
Department of Environment and Conservation
709-729-2575, 689-0928

2011 03 03                                                                         10:05 a.m.

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