Project Dashboard

Wolf predation and Peary caribou population composition on the Bathurst Island Complex (148986)
Proposal Status: Conformity Determination Issued
Project Overview
Type of application: New
Proponent name: Conor Mallory
Company: Government of Nunavut
Schedule:
Start Date: 2019-03-15
End Date: 2022-03-15
Operation Type: Seasonal
Project Description:
Project objectives: Our goal is to initiate a research program on Bathurst Island to investigate fundamental aspects of Peary caribou interactions with the environment and address local concerns about the impacts of wolf predation on Peary caribou. This year, we want to start to get an idea of the amount of wolf predation on Peary caribou and muskoxen, and identify the proportions of males, females, and calves in the caribou population. We are proposing to do the following work in the spring and summer of 2019: Spring: Collar up to 10 wolves and conduct an opportunistic composition survey of Peary caribou on the Bathurst Island Complex. Summer: Visit wolf kill sites to see what prey they are hunting. Summary of activities and rationale: Composition survey (spring): Composition surveys give an idea of the number of calves being produced by caribou. This information can help us understand whether the population is growing or decreasing, but it would not tell us how many caribou are on the island. This information can be used by co-managers to determine whether more surveys, such as a comprehensive population survey, might be required. Composition of caribou groups will be done opportunistically if they are seen while searching for wolves. Once caribou are found, we will use image-stabilizing binoculars to identify the caribou from as far away as possible to minimize disturbance. The helicopter might have to fly closer the group very quickly so that observers can identify caribou sex and age (adult, calf), but we would avoid this as much as possible. Wolf capture (spring): Wolf numbers on Bathurst Island are largely unknown, but community members from Resolute Bay have raised concerns about wolf predation in the past. We plan to deploy GPS collars on 10 wolves in as many packs as possible. Wolves will be captured by net gun or by dart gun from a helicopter. Collars give the animal’s location every hour through a satellite network. Collar batteries should last 2-3 years on this schedule and will be set to drop off the animal at 2 years. Dropped collars will be collected. Kill site visits (summer): By identifying prey species at wolf kill sites we can get an idea of how many caribou and muskoxen wolves are eating. We will identify dens and kill sites based on repeated GPS locations in the same place, and visit these sites in the summer by foot or helicopter. Proposed timing and duration: We hope that this would be the start of a multi-year program. Our work in the spring is planned to begin in early- to mid-April and last up to two weeks. The exact dates are difficult to give at this stage, because they depend on the timing of logistics support and weather. We have provided a start date in our application of March 15 for flexibility. Summer wolf kill site visits would take place in July and we anticipate being on site for about two weeks. Again, exact dates are difficult to provide at this point as it will depend on availability of aircraft and the schedules of community participants from Resolute Bay. We are requesting permission for access to Nanuit Itillinga National Wildlife Area and Qausuittuq National Park between July 1 and 31. Work in future years would continue wolf kill site visits and potential redeployment of wolf GPS collars. Number of personnel: Our spring team would include 2 biologists, 1 community member from Resolute Bay, and 1 helicopter pilot. The summer team would include 3-4 researchers from the Government of Nunavut and 2-3 community members from Resolute Bay. Method of transportation: All transportation will be by helicopter. Depending on the amount of funding available for the project, total helicopter flight hours would be from 30 to 70 hours in 2019. Fuel caching would be done by Twin Otter. Fuel use and storage: We plan to cache approximately 15 to 20 drums of Jet B fuel at the Nanuit Itillinga research station in a plastic secondary containment unit. As needed more drums will be brought in to the cache and empty drums will be removed. We plan to have have 205L each of gasoline and diesel cached at the research station for heat and power. We plan to cache an additional 5 drums of Jet B fuel at an existing cache (Dome Camp) in Qausuittuq National park, 5 drums on Cameron Island, and 5 drums on crown land to the north and south of Nanuit Itillinga NWA. All fuel will be cached by Twin Otter in sealed drums. Most fuel and drums will be removed after work is completed in the spring season, with approximately 10-15 left to support summer helicopter work. Project location: Our proposed project will occur on the Bathurst Island Complex, including Bathurst Island and the major satellite islands: Cameron, Vanier, Alexander, Massey, and Helena. We will work out of the research camp at Nanuit Itillinga NWA and in Qausuittuq National Park. Our project would occur approximately 200 km from Resolute Bay. Community consultation and involvement: We met with the Resolute Bay HTA to discuss the project in November 2018, and have submitted our project to the co-management committees for both Qausuittuq National Park and Nanuit Itillinga NWA. We plan to meet with these three groups in January 2019. We would involve community members in the project in several ways. We will ask community members from Resolute Bay for help in determining where on the Bathurst Island Complex wolves are likely to be and use this information to help plan the project. During the spring work, we will hire one observer/bear monitor from Resolute Bay. For the spring part of the project, limited space in the helicopter means we can only hire one local observer. During the summer kill site visits we will be able to hire 2-3 research assistants from Resolute Bay. All results will be communicated to the Resolute Bay HTA as soon as possible. We will send monthly reports on wolf activity gathered from the GPS collars to the Resolute Bay HTA.
Personnel:
Persons: 7
Days: 30
Project Map
List of all project geometries:
ID Geometry Location Name
4711 polygon Bathurst Island Complex study area
Planning Regions:
Kivalliq
Affected Areas and Land Types
Inuit Owned Surface Lands
Extablished National or Territorial Park
Settlement Area
North Baffin Planning Region
Project Land Use and Authorizations
Project Land Use
Scientific Research
Licensing Agencies
CWS: National Wildlife Area permit under the Wildlife Area Regulations
PC: 0
GN-DOE: Wildlife Research Permit
NIRB: 0
Other Licensing Requirements
No data found.
Material Use
Equipment
Type Quantity Size Use
Helicopter 1 NA Wolf GPS collar deploymentOpportunistic caribou composition
Twin Otter 1 NA Fuel caching
Fuel Use
Type Container(s) Capacity UOM Use
Diesel 1 205 Liters Cabin heating
Gasoline 1 205 Liters Generator
Aviation fuel 70 205 Liters Up to 70 drums of Jet B to fuel helicopter. Actual fuel used could be less (30-50 drums).
Hazardous Material and Chemical Use
Type Container(s) Capacity UOM Use
No records found.
Water Consumption
Daily Amount (m3) Retrieval Method Retrieval Location
0.5 Melted snow, surface water
Waste and Impacts
Environmental Impacts
The potential impact to the environment from our work will be the risk of a fuel spill at a fuel cache or when refueling the helicopter. Fuel will be cached in plastic secondary containment units. In case of accidental spills, we will have spill response kits available. Temporary camps during summer work will leave no trace and the area will be returned to the same condition as before we stay there. Our stay at a camp would likely only be for 1 or 2 nights before moving elsewhere. This will depend completely on the location of den and kill sites. Potential adverse effects to wildlife will come from helicopter flights and wolf captures. Any effects will be of very short duration, less than one minute in the case of helicopter disturbance. For the wolf captures, animals will be immobilized for 30 minutes and will follow accepted and approved animal welfare guidelines. We will take all steps to complete animal handling as quickly and safely as possible.. During flights, the pilot will try to stay at 400 feet above the ground. However, we will come closer during wolf captures.
Waste Management
Waste Type Quantity Generated Treatement Method Disposal Method
Greywater < 100L NA Drained > 200m from any water sources.
Sewage (human waste) < 100L NA Double bagged and returned to Resolute for disposal.
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Categories

NORTH BAFFIN QUESTIONAIRE

GENERAL
Environmental Protection:
s3.13.8: The applicant undertakes to prevent any new occurrences of pollution, garbage and contamination at the site of the development.
YES

Removal of Fuel Drums:
s3.13.8: The applicant undertakes to remove all drums safely from the site and dispose of the drums in a safe manner.
YES

New Site Restoration and Clean Up:
s3.13.1 and Appendix H, s1: The applicant undertakes to clean up the site and restore the site to its natural condition to the greatest extent possible.
YES

Old Site Restoration and Clean Up:
s3.13.2: The applicant undertakes to clean up the site and restore the site to its original condition to the greatest extent possible, including any work required due to the applicant's action prior to this application.
NO

Low-Level Air Flights:
Appendix H, s3: Will the applicant avoid all low-level flights?
NO
i. If not, explain why such flights are or may be absolutely necessary.
Low level flights are required to track and capture wolves.
ii. If such flights are or may be absolutely necessary, will they avoid disturbance to people and wildlife?
NO
iii. If not, explain why it is not possible to avoid such disturbance.
We will avoid disturbing wildlife to the extent possible, however low level flights are required to track and capture wolves. We will avoid disturbing Peary caribou and muskoxen.

Caribou Protection Measures:
s3.3.7 and Appendix D: Will the applicant comply with the Caribou Protection Measures outlined in section 2.4.6 and in Appendix D?
NO

Caribou Water Crossings:
s3.3.7 and map: Will the applicant avoid, between may 15 and September 1, to construct any camp, cache any fuel or conduct any blasting within 10 km of any Designated Caribou Water Crossing identified
YES

Polar Bear Denning Areas and Walrus Haul-outs:
s3.3.8: Will the applicant keep its activities away from any polar bear denning area or walrus haul-out?
YES

HERITAGE RESOURCES
Reporting of Archaeological Sites:
s3.11.3 and Appendix H, s2 and s8: Will the applicant immediately report the discovery of all suspected archaeological sites to the Department of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth (GN)?
YES

SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
Scientific Research:
s3.9.3: Does the project proposal involve scientific research?
YES
If yes, will the applicant integrate all available and relevant local and traditional knowledge when conducting its research?
YES

Consultation with Nunavut Research Institute:
s3.9.5: Has the applicant consulted with the Nunavut Research Institute about research topics that would benefit or interest local residents?
NO
ii. If no, explain why.
We plan to include local residents in our work and will share results with them as soon as they are available. We will send monthly reports on wolf activity gathered from the GPS collars to the Resolute Bay HTA.
Local Services and Local Employment:
s3.9.4: Will the applicant rely on local services and employment where possible?
YES
i. Describe the services retained and the people to be employed.
We will ask community members from Resolute Bay for help in determining where on the Bathurst Island Complex wolves are likely to be and use this information to help plan the project. During the spring work, we will hire one observer/bear monitor from Resolute Bay. For the spring part of the project, limited space in the helicopter means we can only hire one local observer. During the summer kill site visits we will be able to hire 2-3 research assistants from Resolute Bay.

Communication on Scientific Research:
s3.2.8: The applicant will, at minimum, translate a summary of its work into Inuktitut and communicate with communities using language that is clear and non-technical. The results of all scientific re
YES