Kivalliq Wildlife Board slams reduced polar bear quota
Regional board to set its own hunting quota unless government meets demands
The Kivalliq Wildlife Board has dismissed the 2008-2009 polar bear hunting quota, arguing that the Nunavut government's research behind the reduced quota is faulty.
The quota came up as an issue Thursday at the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board's meeting in Rankin Inlet.
Earlier this year, the government set a quota of just eight bears in the Kivalliq region of central Nunavut. It's far less than the 38-bear quota last year, and is just a fraction of the 56 allotted the year before.
So the Kivalliq Wildlife Board has written to the territorial government, saying it will be allocating 38 polar bear hunting tags to its communities this year, unless the government meets a number of its requests.
Members of the Kivalliq board said Thursday that the government's quota is based on false data and an incomplete polar bear study.
Speaking in Inuktitut, board member Matthew Inukshuk said surveyors had counted polar bears for only four days, when they were supposed to count for two weeks.
Glen Williams, a wildlife consultant with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., said the government's new quota presents procedural problems as well.
"The reduction in quota was to be in two steps. But for it to do that, there was a requirement of the minister and the co-management partners to determine if there was any significant new information," Williams said.
"That process did not occur."
The territorial government has yet to respond to the Kivalliq Wildlife Board's letter.