The Nunavut Wildlife Management Board has postponed its public hearing on Southampton Island caribou amid a dispute between Nunavut Tunngavik and the territorial government.

The hearing was supposed to be held June 3 and 4 in Iqaluit.

The NWMB says it will now be rescheduled for the fall, in order to give the board more time to obtain evidence, mainly from the Nunavut government and possibly from NTI.

The hearing was called to review the total allowable harvest of 1,000 caribou a year, set two years ago, and to look at a request to reduce that number to 800 caribou a year because of concerns about the herd.

The hearing will also consider the basic needs level for Southampton caribou.

That number will define how many animals Inuit can harvest each year, when quotas are available. It’s a way of guaranteeing Inuit get access to the animals before any commercial harvesting of the remainder of the quota can take place.

But there is a dispute over the numbers.

The territorial government wants to set the basic needs level at about 1,900 hundred animals per year.

NTI wants double that amount, at just over 4,300 caribou.