Natsiq - Ringed seal monitoring program in Nunavik - Frankie Jean-Gagnon, Pauloosie Kasudluak, Mark Basterfield, Johnny Arnaituk, Kaitlin Breton-Honeyman & Ellen Avard
Given the broad concerns and lack of data, the Nunavik Marine Region Wildlife Board (NMRWB) in partnership with the Nunavik Research Center initiated a ringed seal monitoring program to document and assess changes in seal health, distribution, and habitats in three Nunavik communities. This community-based project engages experienced hunters and youth in a transdisciplinary approach combining tissues sampling of landed seals, mapping exercises and surveys of harvesting information, and student activities such as in-class stomach content analysis and field-based educational activities. In addition to providing training opportunities to allow Nunavik Inuit to develop interest and capacity in wildlife research and management, this project contributes important baseline information on seal health, abundance and distribution in the Nunavik Marine Region (NMR). The knowledge collected will also inform wildlife management in the NMR, and contribute in developing a robust model for other communities to direct and commence addressing wildlife related concerns locally.