Iñupiaq Name: Tuttu
Scientific Name: Rangifer tarandus

Western Arctic Herd insect relief aggregation, 2009.  Photo credit: ADFG

Western Arctic Herd insect relief aggregation, 2009.  Photo credit: ADFG

Current status of North Slope Caribou Herds

ADFG Press Release May 2014 - Western Arctic Caribou Herd Numbers 235,000 Animals in Recent Survey

CircumArctic Rangifer Monitoring & Assessment Network (CARMA) CARMA is a network of research scientists and resource users from around the circumarctic, including the North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management. This website provides information on reindeer and caribou research and management around the circumarctic, such as:

  • satellite collar locations
  • animations of collared caribou migratory movements
  • population estimates
  • management plans
  • threats
  • research reports

Click the links below for detailed information on each herd on the North Slope of Alaska. Population estimates are obtained from ADF&G.

Pop estimates of NS caribou

2007 Anaktuvuk River Fire and Caribou: A brief summary This summary was produced by Geoff Carroll (ADFG) and Craig George on the fire that occured between the Anaktuvuk and Itkillik Rivers in 2007.

For more general information on Caribou

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Wildlife Notebook - Caribou

Species Profile - Caribou

A field guide to common wildlife diseases and parasites in Alaska This online field guide will provide you with the following information on many wildlife diseases:
                What causes the disease
                Where the disease occurs
                Signs of the disease
                How to protect yourself
                Food safety
                Samples to collect for analysis

Sections of leg bones from caribou, with gradually depleted fat from left to right. (ADF&G)
Sections of leg bones from caribou, with gradually depleted fat in the bone marrow from left to right. (ADF&G)

Caribou Trails A publication of the Western Arctic Caribou Herd Working Group that involves and informs users of the Western Arctic Caribou Herd so that it may be effectively managed.

Caribou Collaring at Onion Portage In 2005, Barrow High School students were able to participate in the ADF&G’s caribou collaring project at Onion Portage on the Kobuk River.  Five students traveled from Barrow to Ambler to Onion Portage.  Click here to see the students’ presentation of their trip.  Click here to see the students in the ADF&G’s Winter 2006-07 issue of Caribou Trails.

Barrow High School student Ernest Nageak helping National Park Service staff hold a bull caribou while ADF&G biologist Jim Dau takes a blood sample.
Barrow High School student Ernest Nageak helping National Park Service staff hold a bull caribou while ADF&G biologist Jim Dau takes a blood sample.

USFWS Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - Caribou

Project Caribou A resource for information on caribou of North America for students and educators. This website is maintained by the Yukon Department of Environment with input from Alaskan and Canadian working groups.

Arctic Borderlands Ecological Knowledge Co-op This site monitors the changes in the range of the Porcupine Caribou Herd, and it includes traditional ecological knowledge collected from the communities.

CARMA (The CircumArctic Rangifer Monitoring and Assessment network)

Voices of the Caribou People Documentation of traditional knowledge of caribou of the indigenous peoples of the North.

Caribou Anatomy Project This link takes you to a presentation on caribou anatomy by the University of Calgary School of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Saskatchewan.

Caribou Parasites (Newfoundland, Canada) Here are three Wildlife Disease Factsheets published by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Natural Resources.

Parasites of Caribou (1): Brain Worm Infestation
Parasites of Caribou (2): Fly Larvae Infestations
Parasites of Caribou (3): Tapeworm Cysts

For information on caribou genetics and health research:

Cameron, R.D., et al. 2005. Central arctic caribou and petroleum developement: Distributional, nutritional, and reproductive implications. Arctic 58(1):1-9.

Cronin, M.A., MacNeil, M.D., and Patton, J.C. 2005. Variation in mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite DNA in caribou (Rangifer tarandus) in North America. Journal of Mammology 86:495-505.

O'Hara, T.M. et al. 1999. Radionuclide levels in caribou of northern Alaska in 1995-1996. Arctic 52(3):279-287.

O'Hara, T.M. et al. 2003. Investigation of heavy metals in a large mortality event in caribou of northern Alaska. Arctic 56(2):125-135.

Banner photo credit: Brian Person