Tag: mulchatna caribou herd
Perhaps the animals trampled their food, but the herd was not at the peak numbers it once had decades ago. Perhaps there was heavy predation, like from wolves, but predators don’t usually cause a population to drop by half. Then there’s a theory of over-hunting, which could be a contributing factor.
At a Bristol Bay Regional Subsistence Advisory meeting, all members expressed concern for subsistence resources in the region following this year’s hot, dry summer.
The reason behind the disappearance of high numbers of adult caribou remains a mystery, and with the Mulchatna herd declining so quickly, managers had no choice but to reduce the bag limit.
The Mulchatna herd was only half of the minimum population objective this year. Now a proposal to reduce federal subsistence harvest limits is on the table.
While the Mulchatna herds have a history of fluctuation, biologists have yet to identify the cause of this year’s decline.
Aside from concerns that the 90-day review period isn’t enough time to examine the 1,400-page document, critics say the draft environmental impact statement’s shortcomings render it insufficient.
A request by the Bethel-based Association of Village Council Presidents would see hunting of Mulchatna Caribou in Bristol Bay and the Kuskokwim closed to all but federally-qualified users living in those areas from now until July 1 of next year.