Nfld. & Labrador

Southern Nfld. caribou decline halted

The caribou population on the south coast of Newfoundland is recovering from decline, according to top provincial government officials.

The caribou population on the south coast of Newfoundland is recovering from decline, according to top provincial government officials.

The latest count of the herd on the southern part of the island estimates the population at 14,784 animals, compared to 15, 561 in 2007.

"The numbers this time is pretty consistent from our last census which tells us that that decline is now sharply changed, and we might even say that decline has even been arrested," said Ross Wiseman, the province's minister of Environment and Conservation.

A survey last year of the Middle Ridge herd showed a similar trend.

Wiseman believes the big reason is less hunting.

"We've had a significant reduction of the number of licenses issued on an annual basis. I think province-wide we're only down to around 700 being issues today, versus a significant number higher than that before the strategy started," he said.

The Northern Peninsula herd will be counted next year.