Caribou are the only member of the deer family (Cervidae) in which both sexes grow antlers. The Inupiat live along Alaska’s northern and northwestern shores, with nearly 300 people living on the Coastal Plain in the village of Kaktovik. CBC News The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is located in one of the largest remaining natural areas on the planet: Alaska. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. The small isolated population of 200 animals was at risk from predation and habitat loss. In addition to being one of the largest herds, Porcupine caribou have the longest land … Caribou are our … The following is the fifth update flown from the Being Caribou expedition. In 1998 and 1999 they hiked, skied and canoed for 3,400 kilometres along proposed wildlife corridors from Yellowstone, Wyoming, to Canada's Yukon (Y2Y Hike). Make a symbolic polar bear adoption to help save some of the world's most endangered animals from extinction and support WWFs conservation efforts. The refuge has long been eyed for oil exploration. ... including the Endangered Species Act and the Wilderness Act. Caribou have large, concave hoofs that spread widely to support the animal in snow and soft tundra. Caribou are not just what we eat; they are who we are. Tel. We are pleased that Bank of America recognizes the importance of … The herd has gone up and down in size over time, but it has always been an important part of the ecology of the Western Arctic. Trump administration rushes to auction off Arctic Refuge drilling rights before Biden inauguration The pristine reserve is home to the Gwich'in people, who call it "the sacred place where life begins" Barren-ground caribou have the longest land-mammal migration on earth.  Scientists raised the alarm last year after numbers declined by more than half, with some of the largest herds in decline by over 80 per cent. Thanks to a relatively intact range, this herd’s numbers helped give scientists the confidence to designate this species at risk as “threatened” rather than “endangered”. : (867) 393-8080 Ivvavik National Park protects a portion of the calving grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd and restricts the number of people who may visit annually. But as higher temperatures cause sea ice to become less stable and reliable, more female bears from the Southern Beaufort Sea are making maternal dens on land instead of on ice. In early June, nutritionally deprived females give birth to calves near the Beaufort Sea and spend a month foraging and feeding their newborn young in a relatively predator-fr… ... A small, endangered woodland caribou herd exists in northern Idaho and northwest Montana. The “sacred place” that the Gwich’in people are referring to is the Coastal Plain of the Arctic Refuge, a biological nursery of global significance, where the Porcupine (River) Caribou Herd give birth and raise their young, as do so many other species, including polar bears, muskoxen and many bird species that migrate … “If drilling in the Arctic Refuge is allowed to go ahead, the threat to the north and its people cannot be understated,” said Chris Rider, CPAWS Yukon’s Executive Director. Exploration and drilling along the coastal plain threaten to exacerbate this concerning trend. Last week the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Yukon Chapter (CPAWS Yukon) launched a nation-wide petition urging Prime Minister Trudeau to take a stand against the U.S. government’s recent efforts to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where the caribou give birth every spring. View our inclusive approach to conservation, encouraging your representatives in Washington to co-sponsor the Polar Bear Cub Survival Act. The Porcupine caribou is the exception. Southern Beaufort Sea polar bears are one of several polar bear subpopulations to have already experienced major decline caused by climate change, falling from approximately 1,500 individuals to around 900 in just a few years in the first decade of this century. Antlers of adult bulls are large and massive; those of adult cows are much shorter and are usu… Mountain caribou are considered one of the most endangered large mammals in North America. # 10686 5272 RR0001, This summer, our summer intern & now Conservation Coordinator, Maegan McCaw, took a dive into the story of McIntyre…. Porcupine caribou are seen as a beacon of hope amidst swift declines of the species across the arctic. U.S. Washington, DC 20037. Millions of birds spend part of the year migrating through or nesting in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, tying far-flung communities and ecosystems directly to the Arctic Refuge. In his book entitled Caribou Rising: Defending the Porcupine Herd, Gwich-'in Culture, and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Sarah James is cited as saying, "We are the caribou people. They are in our stories and songs and the whole way we see the world. World Wildlife Fund Inc. is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization (tax ID number 52-1693387) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. In 2002 the Atlantic-Gaspésie population of the woodland caribou was designated as endangered by COSEWIC. With both U.S. Congress and the White House pushing to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling, the health of this herd is now in jeopardy. According to Geist, the "woodland caribou is highly endangered throughout its distribution right into Ontario." Karsten Heuer and Leanne Allison started their expedition in the Porcupine Caribou Herd's wintering range near Old Crow, Yukon on April 8, to travel by ski and on foot with members of the 123,000-strong herd to their endangered … Some of the heaviest owls in North America spend the spring and summer nesting in the Arctic Refuge. ... Gray Wolves To Be Removed From Endangered Species List. The Porcupine Caribou herd is one of the largest migratory barren ground caribou herds in North America. The US government’s assessment of the environmental impacts of drilling on polar bears finds that more bears are denning on land and with “greater frequency than expected.” While the assessment acknowledges polar bears will be killed, it doesn’t estimate how many. In 2013, when the most recent . 2018. In Russia, 18 of 19 assessed herds are … Many practice “subsistence,” harvesting from Alaska’s great bounty of marine and terrestrial resources. Caribou are incredibly sensitive to any environmental changes. The birthing grounds of one of North America’s last healthy barren-ground caribou herds are at serious risk. Alaska Native communities in and around the Refuge rely on the Porcupine Caribou Herd for subsistence needs. During the calving in May, caribou are at their most vulnerable. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on our news, current campaigns and stories about conservation efforts in the Yukon and beyond. Fish and Wildlife Service / AP. While the entire world loses when oil and gas industry interests trump the needs of people and nature, these five species stand to lose the most: Many members of Alaska Native tribes and communities maintain a deep connection to the natural world. The herd of 200,000 animals migrates from Canada to the coastal plains of the refuge every year to birth their calves and seek necessary relief along the Beaufort Sea from otherwise inescapable hordes of mosquitoes. Caribou from the Porcupine Caribou Herd migrate onto the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska. According to BLM, this “significant restriction of subsistence uses is necessary” for development. "— Mike Suitor, regional biologist, North Yukon Region with Environment Yukon, Dawson City. This animated map lets you explore the migration patterns of Porcupine caribou over time using satellite data gathered since 1997. The Draft EIS fails to consider transboundary impacts of oil and gas drilling in the Arctic Refuge. The causes of the declines are discussed in more depth in the “threats” section and may be different for different herds, but there is a significant opinion that development of mining and infrastructure (particularly roads) within the range of some of the … Scientists say 2019 was the warmest year ever recorded in Alaska, and it’s causing big problems for polar bears. Unfortunately, such disturbances are widespread and include oil and gas exploration, roads and infrastructure, and, increasingly, the impacts of a changing climate. Porcupine Caribou herd animals, for example, have been observed to travel over 3000 miles per year. The Porcupine caribou is the exception. Climate change is melting the sea ice habitat polar bears rely upon to travel, hunt, find mates, and, historically, to den. Nearly 200,000 animals in the Porcupine caribou herd, which are also known as reindeer, travel freely between Alaska and Canada and use the coastal plain as calving grounds. Caribou Alaska Native communities in and around the Refuge rely on the Porcupine Caribou Herd for subsistence needs. Tribes, such as the Gwich'in people of northeast Alaska and Canada's northern Yukon and Northwest Territories, depend on the migratory caribou herds an… The food and habitat resources of the Arctic ecosystem on which caribou depend are easily destroyed by human disturbance. Although the Arctic is gaining popularity worldwide as a tourism and wildlife-watching destination, the region has always been vital to the identity, culture, and survival of its indigenous people. The world can’t afford anyone drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Caribou are incredibly sensitive to any environmental changes. The following is the fourth update flown out from the expedition. The coastal plain of this iconic natural jewel is an irreplaceable area. While the Porcupine Caribou Herd is not threatened or endangered, and is in fact one of Alaska’s largest caribou herds, numbering close to 200,000, it now faces threats from oil and gas development. The Gwich’in rely on the region’s rich biodiversity, especially its 200,000-strong porcupine caribou herd, for their survival. The Porcupine herd is one of the largest migratory caribou herds in North America. But the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) admits that the oil and gas activities they are permitting would decrease the community of Kaktovik’s access to fish, marine mammals, and caribou. According to the United States, the Porcupine caribou herd that ranges between Alaska and Canada belongs to this subspecies, but Canada classifies the herd as barren-ground caribou. Given the state of caribou worldwide right now, it's a positive, shining light in the caribou world — that there are some herds that are doing well. “We welcome Bank of America’s commitment not to finance drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Porcupine caribou herd is critical for ecosystems, communities and economies across northern Canada. Please stand with the Gwich’in Nation and help us prevent oil extraction in the calving grounds of the porcupine caribou herd, the sacred place where life begins.” ... conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild … The Porcupine caribou’s calving grounds on the coastal plains of the wildlife reserve have been at risk before, but with U.S. Congress pushing through a budget bill that advances drilling in the refuge, this is the biggest threat in decades. The Porcupine Caribou herd migrates vast distances each year, usually between Alaska and Yukon's arctic coast in the spring and the Yukon's Ogilvie Mountains in winter. In 2003, they again laced up their boots and migrated for 5 months across the Yukon and Alaska with the endangered Porcupine Caribou Herd (Being … “That’s why it’s so important that Justin Trudeau stands up in solidarity with the Gwitchin on behalf of all Canadians to tell the U.S. that this just cannot happen.”. Snow geese fatten up by feasting in the refuge during a few weeks in late summer before migrating more than 1,000 miles south for the winter. Porcupine or Grant's caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti) This subspecies is very similar to the barren-ground herds and mostly found in Alaska. Thanks to a relatively intact range, this herd’s numbers helped give scientists the confidence to designate this species at risk as “threatened” rather than “endangered”. An unusual situation exists at South Georgia, an island near Antarctica, where reindeer from Norway were introduced … It is home to endangered polar bears and the calving ground of the porcupine caribou herd. In Canada, nine herds declined so precipitously that barren-ground caribou are now nationally listed as Threatened, and two herds of Eastern Migratory Caribou are now considered Endangered. Welcome to the Porcupine Caribou News . Karsten Heuer and Leanne Allison started their expedition in the Porcupine Caribou Herd's wintering range near Old Crow, Yukon on April 8, to travel with members of the 123,000-strong herd to their endangered calving grounds in Alaska's Arctic … Loss of old-growth habitat to logging and other development have removed old growth and reduced caribou numbers to … Caribou management calls for preservation of calving grounds. Help protect this treasured landscape by encouraging your representatives in Washington to co-sponsor the Polar Bear Cub Survival Act. The feet also function as paddles when caribou swim. The herd of 200,000 animals migrates from Canada to the coastal plains of the refuge every year to birth their calves and seek necessary relief along the Beaufort Sea from otherwise … Additionally, it is habitat to over 270 species, including musk oxen, Porcupine caribou that migrate across these lands, and endangered polar bears that den there. Today, about one third of all female bears in this region make their dens along the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge. WWF works alongside intergovernmental partners to advocate for the protection of pristine wildlife areas like the Refuge from oil and gas development. Caribou from the Porcupine Caribou Herd migrate onto the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska. This could have a grave and irreversible impact on the health of the herd and the Vuntut Gwitchin in Old Crow, who have been fighting to protect these sacred birthing grounds for decades. 1250 24th Street, N.W. Protect polar bear cubs by asking your member of Congress to cosponsor the Polar Bear Cub Survival Act. In just a few days the petition has garnered over 4,000 signatures. The “decision to violate lands sacred to my people and essential to the health of the Porcupine caribou herd is an attack on our rights, our culture and our way of life.” ... League, arguing the program’s environmental impact review was rushed and that the government is bypassing the Endangered Species Act, the … In fact, the government of Canada warned the US that the risk to this herd and the people who rely on it is “too high.” The risk comes from oil and gas infrastructure impacting migratory and calving grounds along the coast, leading to further declines in the population. info@cpawsyukon.org “The coastal plain of this iconic natural jewel is an irreplaceable area. CPAWS is a registered charity These magnificent birds build their nests on the ground along the coastal plain setting up a potentially deadly conflict with the large, heavy equipment oil and gas developers propose to use in the same area. Drilling in the Arctic Refuge could have serious transboundary (cross-border) impacts on Canada. Other herds around the world aren’t faring as well as the Porcupine herd. It is home to endangered polar bears and the calving ground of the porcupine caribou herd. photocensus was completed, the herd had an estimated 197,000 caribou. Media Contact: Nadine Sander-Green, 867-393-8080 ext.108, nsander-green@cpawsyukon.org. In order to try to understand the herd better, researchers monitor for changes in the herd’s size … Farther south, the Gwich’in also harvest from the land, relying primarily on the Porcupine Caribou herd for thousands of years. 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