Porcupine Caribou Herd Grows Beyond 123,000 Animals

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Porcupine Caribou herd has grown.  An Alaska Department of Fish and Game survey shows the herd, which ranges across the northern parts of western Canada and Eastern Alaska has increased beyond 123,000 animals, the population at the last herd census in 2001. Aerial photos taken last summer are still being analyzed, but Fish and Game spokeswoman Kathy Harms says the preliminary data confirms a greater number of Porcupine caribou.

Harms says, at this stage in the counting, the herd appears to be substantially larger than it was in 2001, and that comparing other data should help decipher what’s been going on with the caribou.

Harms says there’s no organized predator control on either side of the border where the Porcupine caribou herd roams. A final herd estimate is expected to be ready in March.  The herd is managed jointly by Alaska and Canada, and managers are looking at whether to recommend hunting changes.

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