March 2017

Caring for the caribou

Tata Steel Minerals Canada is a member of the Caribou Ungava research program and plays an active part in tracking the declining caribou population to improve conservation efforts

In Canada, the migratory caribou is a fundamental part of the ecology. However, for many years now, locals and scientists have noted that the woodland caribou herds — the George River and the Leaf River herds — are declining in number. The rapid erosion of natural habitats in Canada has further aggravated the situation. It has increased the need for comprehensive environmental assessments and action plans to protect ecosystems and the caribou population.

One such initiative that monitors the concentration of caribou in the region and examines how climate change, industrial development, hunting, etc affect the caribou population is the Caribou Ungava research program. The monitoring techniques used in the program include radio collars, aerial surveys and advanced methods to assess the quality of habitat.

  • The caribou is an integral part of the Canadian ecology. Tata Steel Minerals Canada is involved in studying the declining numbers of the woodland caribou
  • Locals and scientists have observed a decline in the herds of caribou for the past several years
  • Radio collars help to track and study the declining population of caribou


Tata Steel Minerals Canada (TSMC) is a member of the research program, through which it supports ArcticNet, an international survey on caribou across North America and Europe, and a proposal entitled ‘Developing Genomic Tools for Caribou Conservation’.

In addition to this, TSMC is also developing an innovative caribou tracking system, where a mapping system with email alerts is set up, which warns personnel about the presence of caribou in the vicinity of the company’s mine site. The tracking system allows TSMC to adapt its operations depending on the information collated from the email alerts, thus reducing its impact on caribou herds.