Newfoundland and Labrador

A 2011 study was the first systematic attempt to collect polar bear Traditional Ecological Knowledge from Labrador Inuit from four communities. Analysis of collected data provided detailed historic, ecological, nutritional, and demographic information that is considered in management decisions for Davis Strait polar bears. The study was undertaken by the Torngat Wildlife, Plants & Fisheries Secretariat, with contributions from Dr. Lawrence Felt of Memorial University, Lakehead University, and the OKâlaKatiget Society, and is summarized in the report “Labrador Polar Bear Traditional Ecological Knowledge” (York et al., 2015).

An important part of polar bear population monitoring is having an understanding of the trend in population size, an estimate of vital rates, and an assessment of the population’s status and viability for the future. These needs are met by completing population inventories. As the Davis Strait polar bear population is a large, wide ranging, and includes portions of Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and Nunavut, multi-jurisdictional and collaborative inventory efforts are required. The last inventory, which took place between 2005 and 2007, involved substantial contribution form the NL government, including 319 polar bear captures in Labrador. The NL Wildlife Division is currently working with each of the other respective governments and management boards in the design, logistics, and budgeting for a 2017-2018 Davis Strait inventory.