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A caribou grazes near Baker Lake in 2009. A hunting quota for caribou Southampton Island, Nunavut, has been extended for another year.

A hunting quota for caribou in Coral Harbour, Nunavut, has been extended for another year.

Last year at this time, the hunt from the Southampton Island caribou herd was restricted to 1,000 animals.  

It was the first restricted caribou harvest for Inuit in Nunavut.

An amendment to the Wildlife Act, published today, extends that restriction until June 30, 2014.  

The amendment states that Nunavut's Environment Minister "is of the opinion that urgent and unusual circumstances continue to exist" in the herd, which makes the quota necessary.  

That includes a "precipitous decline" in the population to fewer than 7,000 animals, from more than 30,000 in 1997.

Without a quota, the amendment says, the herd is likely to disappear in three to five years.