General information

Iñupiaq Name: Tuttu
Scientific Name: Rangifer tarandus

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

Current Status of North Slope Caribou Herds

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

Western Arctic Herd Population estimate: 200,100 (2015), 235,000 (2017).
Teshekpuk Lake Herd Population estimate: 41,500 (2015), 56,255 (2017).
Central Arctic Herd Population estimate: 22,630 (2016), 28,050 (2017).
Porcupine Herd Population estimate: 197,000 (2013), 218,500 (2017).


More on Caribou

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

  • 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.

Journal Articles and Reports

Banner photo credit: Brian Person

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