Main Content

Plan Released to Help Northern Mountain Caribou in NWT

Norman Baricello Alt text

The Conference of Management Authorities, established under the Species at Risk (NWT) Act to manage and recover species at risk in the Northwest Territories (NWT), has developed a Management Plan for Northern Mountain Caribou in the Northwest Territories.

The management plan released today is the result of a collaborative effort by wildlife management authorities across the range of northern mountain caribou in the NWT. The plan will provide guidance on stewardship and long-term management of northern mountain caribou and their habitat throughout the NWT.

Northern mountain caribou were added to the NWT List of Species at Risk as a species of Special Concern in 2021. These mountain-dwelling caribou are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and disrespectful hunting practices. Loss of key habitat, such as ice patches in the Mackenzie Mountains used to escape insects and cool down in the summer, is already occurring. Mineral exploration is expected to further open access to caribou for hunters and predators.

The NWT management plan is based on the Government of Canada’s management plan for northern mountain caribou, released in 2012. It shares the same goals and objectives as the federal plan. The NWT plan also points to updated information for the NWT available in the 2020 NWT species status report, identifies knowledge gaps and highlights work that is already underway to conserve northern mountain caribou in the NWT.

Automatic prohibitions or protections are not part of the management plan. The management plan does not change quotas, by-laws or regulations already in place. Successful conservation of northern mountain caribou will depend on the commitment and cooperation of the many different groups with responsibility for wildlife management in the NWT, together with NWT residents and visitors. Everyone is encouraged to join in supporting and implementing this plan for the benefit of northern mountain caribou, communities that have traditionally relied on northern mountain caribou, and NWT society as a whole.

The Conference of Management Authorities has until April 28, 2024, to develop a consensus agreement identifying the actions they plan to take to implement the management plan. Management authorities for northern mountain caribou are: Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board, Ɂehdzo Got’ı̨nę Gots’ę́ Nákedı (Sahtú Renewable Resources Board) and Government of the Northwest Territories.

Photo: Northern mountain caribou, Norman Baricello


Coordinated conservation action more important than ever for Dolphin and Union caribou

Dolphin and Union Caribou - Xavier Fernandez Aguilar

A new report on Dolphin and Union caribou shows how conservation and management actions have intensified over the last five years, as the species faces steep declines and changes to its distribution in the Northwest Territories (NWT) and Nunavut.

The Progress Report on the Management of Dolphin and Union Caribou was released today by the Conference of Management Authorities in coordination with the Government of Nunavut and other wildlife management partners in the NWT and Nunavut.

The report details the extensive action taken across both territories from 2018-2022 to implement the Management Plan for Dolphin and Union Caribou, from population surveys and community-based monitoring, to coordinated management of Arctic ship traffic and harvest restrictions.

Dolphin and Union caribou are currently listed as a species of Special Concern in both the NWT and Canada—the lowest level of risk for a listed species. However, the NWT Species at Risk Committee recently assessed them as Endangered in the NWT, meaning Dolphin and Union are facing imminent extinction if threats cannot be mitigated.

Progress reporting is required every five years under the Species at Risk (NWT) Act. This is the first progress report for Dolphin and Union caribou.

The full progress report and additional information on Dolphin and Union caribou and other NWT species at risk are available on this website.

For more information, contact:

Conference of Management Authorities
c/o NWT Species at Risk Secretariat
Phone: (867) 767-9237 ext. 53215

Photo: Xavier Fernandez Aguilar


  • Dolphin and Union caribou were listed under the federal Species at Risk Act in 2011 and under the Species at Risk (NWT) Act in 2015. The Management Plan for Dolphin and Union Caribou in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut was completed in 2018.
  • The Conference of Management Authorities (CMA) is the group of wildlife co-management boards and governments that share management responsibility for the conservation and recovery of species at risk in the NWT. The Management Authorities for Dolphin and Union caribou in the NWT are:
    • Wildlife Management Advisory Council (NWT)
    • Government of the Northwest Territories
  • NWT Management Authorities work closely with other partners in Nunavut and the NWT to take action on Dolphin and Union caribou. Management partners include the Government of Nunavut; Nunavut Wildlife Management Board; Kitikmeot Regional Wildlife Board; Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.; Inuvialuit Game Council; Hunters and Trappers Organizations and Hunters and Trappers Committees; and Government of Canada.
  • The range of Dolphin and Union caribou straddles the NWT and Nunavut, as the caribou migrate across the sea ice between Victoria Island and the mainland twice a year. Changes to sea ice freeze-up and break-up due to climate change and increased ship traffic are threatening migration. Dolphin and Union caribou are also affected by freezing rain and other extreme weather, industrial development and predators.
  • The 2018-2022 progress report includes upwards of 200 management actions taken over five years, including significant proactive measures by communities to reduce harvest pressure and develop solutions to mitigate the risks of icebreaking activities.
  • Dolphin and Union caribou are one of twelve species identified as “at risk” of disappearing from the Northwest Territories and legally listed under the Species at Risk (NWT) Act. 

Species at Risk funding now available!


The call for application for the 2024-2025 program year is now closed.

The next call for applications for 2025-2026 projects will open on January 15, 2025.


The NWT Species Conservation and Recovery Fund provides funding for projects that support the long-term conservation, recovery and protection of species that are at risk in the NWT.

Applications for funding for 2024-2025 projects (beginning April 1, 2024) are being accepted from January 15 to March 1, 2024.

Please submit your completed application form if you have an idea for a project that:

  • Addresses threats to species, habitats, landscapes, or ecosystems
  • Fills knowledge gaps related to species, habitats, or threats
  • Contributes to outreach, education, and awareness about species

Apply now! The application package is available here (also available in French).

For more information, please see the NWT Species Conservation and Recovery Fund web page or read the brochure.

Photo: Northern leopard frog, Leslie Bol

Draft Species Status Report for Peary Caribou in the NWT


The NWT Species at Risk Committee (SARC) has released the draft Species Status Report for Peary Caribou (Rangifer tarandus pearyi) in the NWT for review. The species status report is a comprehensive report that compiles and analyzes the best available Indigenous, community, and scientific information on the biological status of Peary caribou in the NWT, as well as existing and potential threats and positive influences. The report was prepared in advance of the scheduled 2022 re-assessment of Peary caribou in the NWT and updates the information available in the previous (2012) status report for Peary caribou in the NWT.

The draft status report can be opened here.

If you are interested in reviewing the report and submitting comments, please use the following questions to guide your review:

  • Has the report fully investigated the best available sources of information?
  • Is the information from those sources portrayed accurately?

Comments on the draft report must be submitted to the Species at Risk Secretariat by no later than January 7, 2022 (commenting on this document is now closed).

Comments can be submitted via email (, fax (867-873-0293), or via standard mail at the address below:

Species at Risk Secretariat
SC6, c/o Environment and Natural Resources
Government of the Northwest Territories
PO Box 1320
Yellowknife, NT X1A 2L9

Please note that the report is a draft and is not to be cited without permission of the Species at Risk Committee Chairperson. If you have any questions about reviewing draft status reports, or if you require the report in a different format, please contact the Species at Risk Secretariat.