Consensus Agreements Reached Regarding Implementation of the NWT Boreal Caribou Recovery Strategy and NWT Amphibian Management Plan

Friday, November 24, 2017

The Northwest Territories (NWT) Conference of Management Authorities (CMA) has reached consensus respecting the implementation of the Recovery Strategy for the Boreal Caribou in the NWT and the Management Plan for Amphibians in the NWT.

These consensus agreements summarize what actions Management Authorities intend to undertake to implement the recovery strategy and management plan. They follow the listing of boreal caribou, northern leopard frog, and western toad as Threatened species in the NWT and help fulfill recovery and implementation requirements for these species under the Species at Risk (NWT) Act.

The Recovery Strategy for the Boreal Caribou in the NWT and the Management Plan for Amphibians in the NWT were developed collaboratively and accepted by the Management Authorities for boreal caribou and amphibians in the NWT (Wildlife Management Advisory Council (NWT), Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board, Sahtu Renewable Resources Board, Wek'eezhii Renewable Resources Board, Tlicho Government, and the Government of the Northwest Territories), with input from Aboriginal organizations and the public through consultation and engagement.

The signed consensus agreements were provided to the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources on November 24, 2017.

The goal for boreal caribou recovery is to ensure a healthy and sustainable boreal caribou population across the NWT range that offers harvesting opportunities for present and future generations. Recovery approaches are focused on habitat management, range planning, research and monitoring, sustainable harvest, and collaborative and adaptive management.

Amphibian conservation and management in the NWT will focus on maintaining healthy and viable populations for each amphibian species across its NWT range. The management plan is a multi-species plan that includes western toad, Canadian toad, northern leopard frog, wood frog, boreal chorus frog, and long-toed salamander. Management approaches are focused on filling knowledge gaps and enhancing understanding of NWT amphibians, identifying and maintaining key habitats, disease monitoring and management, and raising public awareness of amphibians in the NWT and their habitats.

There are no automatic prohibitions or protections that come into force upon release of these consensus agreements.

Periodic co-management reviews of progress and new information will allow for implementation to be reviewed and adapted as appropriate. The progress of implementation will also be reviewed and reported on every five years.

Implementation is subject to appropriations, priorities, and budgetary constraints of the Management Authorities.

Additional species information and supporting documentation are available at:

Quick Facts:

Conference of Management Authorities (CMA):

  • The CMA consists of the wildlife co-management boards and governments that share management responsibility for the conservation and recovery of species at risk in the NWT.
    • Members are: Wildlife Management Advisory Council (NWT), Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board, Sahtu Renewable Resources Board, Wek'eezhii Renewable Resources Board, Tlicho Government, Government of the Northwest Territories, and Government of Canada.
  • The CMA makes decisions together on listing, conservation, management, and recovery of species that may be at risk of disappearing from the NWT.

Boreal caribou:

  • In the NWT, the boreal caribou population is estimated to be between 6,000-7,000 animals. This is considered to be a small population size.
  • Boreal caribou need large tracts of undisturbed habitat so they can spread out to minimize predation risk. This adaptation results in naturally low densities across a large area.
  • The main threat to boreal caribou in the NWT is habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation from human-caused and natural disturbances that result in increased predation risk. These threats are expected to increase in the future.
  • Boreal caribou are listed as Threatened under both the federal Species at Risk Act and our Species at Risk (NWT) Act.
  • A national recovery strategy for boreal caribou was released in 2012. The strategy identifies critical habitat for boreal caribou as a minimum of 65% undisturbed habitat throughout boreal caribou range. It is the responsibility of all provinces and terrritories within boreal caribou range to provide effective protection for critical habitat under the Species at Risk Act.


  • There are five, maybe six amphibian species in the NWT. Two of these species - northern leopard frog and western toad - are listed as Threatened species in the NWT.
  • Amphibians play an essential role in our ecosystem. They are both predators and prey and are sensitive to changes in their environment that can act as indicators of ecosystem health.
  • The main threat facing amphibians in the NWT is disease. Human activities that alter habitat or prevent movements (e.g., land clearing, wetland modifications, hydroelectric development) can also have negative impacts on amphibians.