NWRT 2021 Annual Report (English)

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Nunavut Wildlife Management Board


ABOUT NWRT The Nunavut Wildlife Research Trust provides funding for government departments to carry out wildlife research in Nunavut that addresses the priorities of the NWMB and Inuit. Research is necessary to ensure that wildlife resources are harvested in a knowledgeable and sustainable way so that Nunavummiut can continue the hunting and fishing that is so essential to their way of life. The NWMB has a lead role to play in this area and is committed to making wildlife research responsive to the needs and concerns of the people of Nunavut. The NWMB responsibly facilitates the NWRT to ensure that the funds continue to grow and are therefore available for wildlife research over the long-term. Eligible candidates to receive NWRT funding are the Canadian federal or Nunavut territorial government departments. The enclosed booklet describes projects that were awarded NWRT funding in 2021. Project leads are noted under each project description.



1 Eclipse Sound narwhal ecology

This study will use passive acoustic monitoring to document noise levels around the Eclipse Sound marine environment, as well as detect the presence/absence of narwhal in relation to shipping activity. This project has received NWRT funding in the past. (Marianne Marcoux, DFO)

2 High Arctic beluga whale stock structure

The proposed study aims to update critical information of beluga whales in the Somerset Island Prince Regent Inlet region. A combination of study methods, including use of unmanned aerial vehicles, underwater cameras and hydrophones, and DNA sampling techniques will be used to conduct a stock assessment, assess body condition, and beluga behaviours. (Cortney Watt, DFO)


3 Population structure and ecology of killer whales in the eastern Canadian Arctic The overall project broadly focuses on killer whale abundance, population structure, and ecology to better understand their influence on the Eclipse Sound marine ecosystem. This project has received NWRT funding in the past. (Cory Matthews, DFO)

4 Foxe Basin bowhead telemetry, photo-ID and biopsy collection

The project aims to understand Foxe Basin's bowhead population abundance and movement patterns, as well as develop a photo-identification catalogue of individuals. This project has received NWRT funding in the past. (Brent Young, DFO)


5 Consultation on Sam Ford Fiord Arctic char and Clyde River's fishery

6 Pond Inlet Arctic char fishery development research program

Preliminary information

This project has received NWRT

gathering sessions will be held

funding in the past. Community

with Clyde River HTO and

collected char samples and local

community fishers to develop an

knowledge will be used to

understanding of Arctic char

establish a baseline stock

stock distributions and fishery

assessment for the Koluktoo Bay

characteristics in Sam Ford fiord.

and Saatut stocks. (Ross Tallman,

Results will be used to inform a


complete stock assessment plan. (Ross Tallman, DFO)


7 Fishery independent sampling of Cambridge Bay Arctic char with emphasis on the Lauchlan River Stock

8 A team-based approach to investigate and increase the understanding of char and cod declines in adjacent waters to Kugluktuk, Nunavut

Multi-mesh gill nets will be used

This study aims to develop a

to collect time series data related

better understanding of Arctic

to biological and catch-effort

char and cod ecology and habitat

data. Samples will be collected to

use in the Coronation Gulf region.

determine the presence and

The study is supported by a

impacts of contaminants. This

community fish collection

project has received NWRT

program in Kugluktuk. (Tracey

funding in the past. (Les Harris,

Loewen, DFO)



9 Inferring walrus distribution and stock structure from satellite telemetry, microchemistry, and genetics

This project has received NWRT

This study will build off of a

funding in the past. It focuses on

previous study from 2008-2009.

the Central Arctic walrus

The area will be resampled to

population. Various approaches

update the estimate of grizzly

will be used to collect short- and

bear abundance and distribution.

long-term movement data, as

Hair snare stations will be set up

well as genetic data. The results

to collect DNA samples. (Malik

will be used to evaluate stock

Awan, GN)

interactions and delineations. (Cory Matthews, DFO)


10 Estimation of density and trend for grizzly bears in the Western Kitikmeot using DNA markrecapture methods

11 Re-estimating the abundance of the Lancaster Sound polar bear subpopulation via genetic mark-recapture sampling

12 Muskox distribution and abundance of Central Mainland Nunavut

This project will employ genetic

Aerial surveys will be employed

biopsy mark-recapture

to gather data on the Central

techniques to estimate the

Mainland (MX-11) management

abundance and demographic

unit to provide a muskox

composition of the Lancaster

population estimate and map

Sound polar bear subpopulation.

herd distribution. (Amélie

(Caryn Smith, GN)

Roberto-Charron, GN)


13 Use of trail cameras to estimate cow:calf rations, calf mortality and predator abundance on the Bathurst caribou herd calving grounds


14 Dolphin &Union caribou movement monitoring

This study will apply passive

The proposed work will involve

surveillance techniques to

collaring 50 cows in order to

investigate Bathurst caribou

investigate Dolphin & Union herd

population dynamics, calf

habitat preferences, movement

mortality, and predator

patterns, population trends, and

abundance on calving grounds.

calving events. (Amélie Roberto-

(Amélie Roberto-Charron, GN)

Charron, GN)

15 South Baffin caribou distribution using GPS telemetry

16 Kivalliq ungulate monitoring

In Spring 2022, 25 GPS collars will

Dropped GPS satellite collars will

be deployed on South Baffin

be collected from the

Island caribou. Daily telemetry

Qamanirjuaq and Lorillard herds.

data will provide an insight into

Composition surveys of the

South Baffin caribou ecology such

Qamanirjuaq herd will also be

as overwinter cow and calf

conducted. Results will be used

mortality, habitat use areas,

to monitor the herds and inform

subpopulation structure and

land use planning. This project

delineation, and possible effects

has received NWRT funding in

of industrial development. (John

the past. (Mitch Campbell, GN)

Ringrose, GN)


17 An abundance survey of the Wager Bay and Lorillard Barrenground caribou subpopulations of the Northeast Mainland of Nunavut

composition, seasonal

18 An abundance survey of the Ahiak Barren-ground caribou subpopulation of the Northeast Mainland of Nunavut

distribution, and herd delineation

The proposed research will

of the Wager Bay and Lorillard

employ aerial surveys to

caribou herds of the Northeast

investigate the abundance,

Mainland. (Mitch Campbell, GN)

composition, seasonal

The proposed research will employ aerial surveys to investigate the abundance,

distribution, and herd delineation of the Ahiak herd. (Mitch Campbell, GN)


19 Baffin caribou health monitoring

This project will establish a hunter-based sample and information collection program.

20 South Baffin Island caribou Spring composition survey

Information collected will be used to monitor the occurrence of disease, parasites, and other

Aerial surveys will be conducted

health related parameters of

to estimate caribou herd

caribou inhabiting Baffin Island

composition and demographics.

over time. (John Ringrose, GN)

Calf:cow ratios will be used to predict herd productivity and population trends. (John Ringrose, GN)


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