This is a cooperative project between a number of wildlife agencies and Boards to use satellite radio-collars on Porcupine Caribou to document the seasonal range use and migration patterns of the herd.
The herd's total home range is approximately 260,000 km2, between Kaktovik, Alaska to Aklavik, NWT to Dawson City, Yukon. Most of this very large area is used quite often by the herd, however use of specific areas (other than during calving) is not always predictable.
At the start of this project, 10 cow caribou were captured in October and November of 1997. The caribou were "adopted" and given names by school children in northern communities. The original caribou were named Dasher, Gus-Gus, Homer, Blixen, Lynetta, Cupid, Donner, Vixen, Lucky and Springy.
Over time, we have tried to maintain a minimum of 7 satellite collared cow caribou, adding and replacing collars as caribou died, or collars went off the air (refer to the table, below).
The cows that we are currently following are Arnaq, Belle, Bertha, Claudia, Cocoa, Daphey, Donner, Kate, Margaret, Marilla, Pingo, Rocky, Sprig, Tramp, and Waldo.
How long will this program continue?
The collars on these caribou are of various ages, with different amounts of battery life remaining in them. The table below summarizes the history of caribou that have been involved in the Satellite Location Project.
We would like to keep tracking the same caribou, so as the batteries run low, we will have to recapture the caribou and replace the collars. We will try to maintain around 15 satellite collars, so we will add new caribou to the program as caribou die or their collars go off the air.