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Wildlife Resources

The Wildlife division has a wide diversity of resources available. Click on the links below to view resources grouped into the following categories:

Nunavut Harvester Safety Guide

The Nunavut Harvester Safety Guide is designed to provide Nunavut harvesters and community members with information about wildlife diseases, as well as guidelines for safe consumption and handling of diseased wildlife.

This project has been a collaborative effort between the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre (CCWHC) and the Government of Nunavut, Department of Environment. These organizations work together to monitor the health of wildlife populations in Nunavut. We hope this guide serves as a useful tool to bring Conservation Officers, HTOs, community members, and wildlife researchers together to share knowledge and observations about Nunavut’s diverse wildlife species.

Copies of the guide have been sent to every HTO and every wildlife office in Nunavut. In order to inform your community about this guide, and to initiate dialogue on wildlife health in your area, you may wish to organize a workshop in your community on the topic of wildlife health and harvester safety.

This guide has been made available in English only at this time. Our goal with this first phase of the Nunavut Harvester Safety Guide project is to pilot test the guide. It has been distributed to all communities within Nunavut, with the hopes to receive feedback and input, which can be incorporated into future editions of the guide. Through ongoing dialogue with local communities, we also hope to gather local and Inuit knowledge that can be incorporated into the guide. Our intent is to have a future edition translated into Inuktitut, Innuinaqtun, and French.

We hope you find the Nunavut Harvester Safety Guide useful and informative.

Due to file size, the guide has been broken up into a number of sections to allow for easier download:

Introductions and How to Use the Guide

Section A, Fish

Section B, Birds

Section C, Seal and Walrus

Section D, Beluga

Section E, Hoofed Animals

Section F, Meat Eaters

Section G, Any Animal

More Information (Section H-A)

More Information (Section H-B)

More Information (Section H-C Part I)

More Information (Section H-C Part II)

Staying "Bear Safe in Nunavut"

Here are some things that you can do to stay "Bear Safe" in Nunavut.

  1. Immediately report bears seen near the community to your conservation office and HTO

    An immediate and aggressive response to a bear in or near town reduces the likelihood that they will access human-sourced food and will be more successful in preventing a bear from returning. Conservation officers have access to equipment that is more effective at deterring bears than warning shots from a rifle or shotgun.

  2. Human contact leads to habituation!! Do not tolerate bears near the community.
  3. Although people may be tempted to observe bears that come in or near communities or dump sites, approaching bears for photography or observation leads to habituation. When bears become habituated to human contact, they learn that humans are not a threat and this encourages bears to approach communities more frequently.
  4. Do not leave food or garbage where bears may gain access.

    If you must store food outside, use a strong box with a secure lid.  When bears get access to food in or near communities, we essentially reward them for approaching close to humans and their structures. Bears will continue to seek out similar sources of food.

  5. Do not leave animal carcasses in or near the community.

    Talk to your HTO or conservation officer to identify a location suitable for leaving or discarding of carcasses. Appropriately located carcass sites may divert bears from community resources.

  6. Think ahead about how you would respond to an encounter.

    This helps to control panic and fear and increases the likelihood of making safe decisions. For more information on how to respond to bear encounters, consult your conservation officer or HTO.

  7. Stay alert and monitor young children.

    During bear migration season, it is advisable to supervise children during outside play and to escort children while walking between home, school, and other locations within the community.

  8. Do not interfere in deterrent efforts.

    Unless you are experienced or equipped to deter bears do not respond to a bear sighting. Spectators put their own lives at risk both from the bear and from any potential deterrent actions. People in the wrong place or the wrong time could also limit the deterrent options of the responders and this could lead to the destruction of the bear.