The changing migration patterns of the barren ground caribou is once again being assessed in northern Saskatchewan this year.

Caribou harvest data collectors will be going door-to-door over the next month in the communities of Fond-du-Lac, Black Lake and Hatchet Lake.

Biologist Tina Giroux is working on the project and says all information gathered is kept confidential. The data will be analyzed and stored in a harvest study database and is not shared with outside organizations such as industry, government or boards unless special conditions are met.

Giroux says the caribou migration patterns have changed over the past few years, and the total number of the animals has also dropped. She says because of that, some extra questions have been added to this year’s survey.

“How having to go farther to hunt is impacting the communities, do families have enough caribou to last them through the year?” said Giroux.

Giroux says caribou meat is a main source of protein and many people from Hatchet Lake had to travel into Manitoba again this year to harvest the animals.

Additionally, she says people from Black Lake had to travel to the Fond-du-Lac area to find caribou.

Giroux says there are a number of reasons for the change in migration patterns, including climate change, forest fires and deep snow.

(PHOTO: Woodland caribou. Photo courtesy of the Government of Saskatchewan.)