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Type: Report
Author(s): Brian Heitz; Matthew L. Carlson
Publication Date: 2013

The Western Arctic Caribou Herd (WACH) has increased dramatically in size over the last forty years, from approximately 75,000 in 1970 to 490,000 in 2003, and is now estimated at approximately 348,000 animals (Dau 2005, Joly et al. 2006). With the increase in population size the herd has increased the regional extent of its wintering grounds. The increase in spatial extent of the wintering range and increase in population numbers has led to concern that the herd may be negatively impacting the vegetation (Joly et al. 2006). Additionally, this habitat experiences occasional tundra fires that has dramatic impacts on the vegetation that caribou are particularly reliant on and therefore efforts have been made to understand the pace and trajectory of community assembly following this disturbance.

Citation: Heitz, Brian; Carlson, Matt L. 2013. Summary of the 2012 Western Arctic Caribou Herd Habitat and Utilization Study. Anchorage, AK: University of Alaska Anchorage. 6 p.

Cataloging Information

  • caribou
  • long-term monitoring
  • post-fire succession
  • tundra
  • tundra fire
  • WACH
  • Western Arctic Caribou Herd
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 23745