World's largest reindeer herd in danger of extinction04/12/2012 10:39:58 George River herd shrunk from 8-900,000 to fewer than 30,000
December 2012. A reindeer herd which was once the largest in the world has shrunk to a fraction of its former size, official surveys have revealed. Canada's George River Herd once numbered 8-900,000, but a recent government survey found that only 27,600 animals survive.
The herd's unprecedented and dramatic decline has left local indigenous people fearful for its survival. A ‘tsunami of factors' has been blamed for the decline, which government ministers have called ‘significant and frightening.'
63% drop in 2 years
Rich said, ‘the government always blames the Aboriginal people, but we are deeply connected to the caribou and have lived with them for generations.'
Many Innu are calling for greater control over their territories and resources, and to be treated as equals in decisions that affect their lands and the animals that live there.
Stephen Corry, Survival International's Director said today, ‘It's easy to blame indigenous peoples for over-hunting because they've usually no voice to defend themselves from these accusations. Yet it's been proven in countless studies that they are the world's best conservationists. When will governments and scientists realize this? We need to start listening to what indigenous peoples have to say about matters on their own land: they know best.'