From a USFWS News Release:
The Federal Subsistence Board has approved an Emergency Special Action to close Federal public lands in Unit 9D on the lower Alaska Peninsula to the harvest of caribou from Aug. 1 to Sept. 30. The Board's action follows similar action by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Current surveys of the Southern Alaska Peninsula Caribou Herd in Unit 9D show a marked decrease in both population and calf survival. The herd began its decline during the early 1980s. Poor nutrition is believed to be the primary factory causing the decline, although human harvest and predation by wolves and brown bears have also factored into the decline.
The 2007 draft plan for management of the Southern Alaska Peninsula Caribou Herd sets a population goal of 3,000 to 3,500 animals and calls for closure to hunting when the herd falls below 850-875 animals. In a 2006 survey, Izembek National Wildlife Refuge staff observed only 770 animals.
Both Federal and State regulatory managers concur that the decline of the caribou population in Unit 9D poses a potentially significant conservation concern that warrants the closure to hunting.
For additional information, contact Dan LaPlant at the Office of Subsistence Management (907) 786-3871 or (800) 478-1456 or Sandra Siekaniec at the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge at (907) 532-2445.