Ahiak, Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Herds
In this section
The Ahiak caribou calve in the vicinity of the Adelaide Peninsula (eastern Queen Maud Gulf) east to Pelly Bay, Nunavut. The herd spends most summers in the Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary. The fall and spring migration leads them through, and south of, the Thelon Game Sanctuary, which extends their winter range into the NWT. The herd will winter on the barrens and in the boreal forest in the area northwest of the Saskatchewan border to the north side of Great Slave Lake. The Ahiak herd overlaps with the Bathurst caribou herd on the west and the Qamanirjuaq and Beverly herds to the east.
The Government of Nunavut's most recent population survey (2011) estimates the Ahiak herd at 71,000 animals.
The Ahiak herd is inter-jurisdictional and its annual range includes Nunavut, the Northwest Territories (NWT) and, to a lesser extent, Saskatchewan. The herd is within the jurisdiction of Wek'eezhii Renewable Resources Board and the Nunavut Wildlife Management Bopard as well as the Governments of Nunavut (GN) and the NWT (GNWT). As of 2015, there is no management plan or specific process for the Ahiak herd.
Resident, outfitted and commercial harvest of caribou within the NWT portion of the Ahiak herd has been suspended since 2010. In January 2014, the GNWT opened up a limited one tag bull-only resident harvest in the range of the Ahiak and Beverly caribou herds.
The range used by the Beverly herd extends from the boreal forests of Saskatchewan, across the subarctic taiga of the NWT, to the Arctic tundra of west-central Nunavut. The range overlaps with the Bathurst caribou herd on the west, and Qamanirjuaq and Ahiak caribou herds on the east.
The herd calves in both the Western Queen Maud Gulf area and the traditional calving grounds near Beverly Lake in Nunavut. A population survey was done by the Government of Nunavut in 2018. Preliminary results estimate the size of the Beverly herd at 103,000 animals.
Resident, outfitted and commercial harvest of caribou within the NWT portion of the Beverly herd has been suspended since 2010. In January 2014, the GNWT opened up a limited one tag bull-only resident harvest in the range of the Ahiak and Beverly caribou herds.
Management authorities for the Beverly herd are the Governments of Nunavut, NWT and Saskatchewan, the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board and the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Management Board.
The range of the Qamanirjuaq herd straddles Manitoba and Nunavut with portions in the southeast NWT and northeast Saskatchewan. The herd calves in the vicinity of Qamanirjuaq Lake in the Kivalliq Region of Nunavut. The range overlaps with Beverly and Ahiak herds to the west. The herd was estimated at 288,000 in 2017.
The Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Management Board helps manage the herd.