Biologist: Beth Lenart
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Division of Wildlife Conservation
ADF&G staff counted 31,857 caribou from photographs of the Central Arctic Caribou Herd (CAH) taken in July 2002. Groups and number of caribou were in the following locations: Katakturuk Point (115), Katakturuk Point (4,526), Canning River mouth (567), Shaviovik Delta (13, 461), East channel Sagavanirktok River (1,962), Putuligayuk River (1,437), Sakonowyak River (3,299), Beechy Point (3,499), and Kaverarak Point (2,991).
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The CAH increased from 26,128 caribou in 2000 to 31, 857 caribou in 2002 (minimum count estimates). This is an annual growth rate of approximately 8.5%. Parturition rates, late June calf:cow ratios, and fall calf:cow ratios were good in 2000 and 2001 and mortality rates also were low. Thus, it was not surprising that the CAH increased.