The Federal Subsistence Board (Board) recently adopted new regulations for Units 21D, 22, 23, 24, 26A and 26B at its April 12-14, 2016 meeting in Anchorage. These regulations cover the entire range of the Western Arctic and Teshekpuk Caribou Herds and are the first changes to Federal Subsistence regulations for these herds in more than 20 years. These regulations will be effective July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2018.
The Board felt that these changes were needed due to the precipitous decline of the caribou herds in northern and western Alaska and that these declines warranted strong measures to ensure the conservation of these populations. Since 2008, the Teshekpuk and Western Arctic caribou populations have declined approximately 50%. Low calf survival and recruitment combined with increasing adult mortality are contributing factors to the overall population decline. The Alaska Board of Game has also responded to this population concern by passing similar restrictions.
Changes include reductions in harvest limits, shortening of bull and cow seasons, creation of new hunt areas, may be announced seasons, and prohibitions on the take of calves and cows with calves.
A fact sheet simplifying the changes to Units 21D, 22, 23, 24, 26A and 26B accompanying this news release can be accessed here.