• Herd size (2011): 71,000

The Ahiak caribou range includes Nunavut, the Northwest Territories (NWT) and, to a lesser extent, Saskatchewan. The Ahiak caribou give birth to their calves from the Adelaide Peninsula (eastern Queen Maud Gulf) east to Pelly Bay, Nunavut. The herd spends most summers in the Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary. The herd winters on the barrens and in the boreal forest in the area northwest of the Saskatchewan border to the north side of Great Slave Lake. The Ahiak herd overlaps with the Bathurst caribou herd on the west and the Qamanirjuaq and Beverly herds to the east.


So far, there is no management board or management plan for this herd. Resident, outfitted and commercial harvest of caribou within the NWT portion of the Ahiak herd has been suspended since 2010, except for a limited one tag resident harvest of bulls in the range of the Ahiak and Beverly caribou herds.

Related news

Final hearing on future of Meliadine gold mine begins in Rankin Inlet

A proposal to extend the life of a gold mine near Rankin Inlet in Nunavut has raised concerns about the project's impact on caribou. The Meliadine mine proposal is being reviewed by the Nunavut Impact Review Board. One concern raised by the local Inuit association regards the impacts of a proposed wind farm at the mine. The Kivalliq Inuit Association says, "The impacts of wind turbines on barren ground caribou herds have not been studied in enough depth to truly understand the potential impacts...".
12 September 2023 | CBC

QIA says Nunavut land-use plan doesn’t go far enough to protect caribou

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association (the organization that holds land rights for Inuit in the Baffin region of Nunavut) is urging more prtoections for caribou in the Nunavut Land Use Plan. The land use plan is in its final hearing stage. The plan has been under development for several years and will influence the future of development in the territory. 
18 November 2022 | Nunatsiaq news

Where are the wolves? Satellite collaring planned for wolves on caribou winter range

a 2020 news story about collaring wolves associated with the Beverly/Ahiak, Bathurst and Bluenose-east herds.
31 January 2020 | CBC

Related resources

Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation’s Caribou Stewardship Plan

A 47-page 2020 Caribou stewardship plan from the Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation (NWT). The “Yúnethé Xá Ɂetthën Hádı” plan covers the Bathurst, Beverly, Ahiak, and Qamanirjuaq herds.
Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation (2020)


This 70-page recovery strategy for barren-gound caribou in the Northwest Territories lays out plans to help the eight herds covered by the strategy. The strategy was required by the NWT Species at Risk Act after the barren-ground caribou were listed as "threatened" in 2018. The governments and co-management boards that developed the strategy have until April 9, 2021 to agree on the implementation of the recovery strategy. 
Conference of Management Authorities (2020)

Report to the Hunters of the Ahiak Caribou – Feb 2019

The Northern Contaminants Program monitors contaminants in Arctic Caribou in Canada.

Usage: Non-commercial with attribution
Format: pdf


Inuktitut summary report on contaminants in the Ahiak herd

A two-page summary report in Inuktitut on contaminants in the Ahiak caribou herd

Usage: Non-commercial with attribution
Format: pdf


caribou and community well-being (Gjoa Haven)

A web page with a variety of other resources centred on the link between the people of Gjoa Haven (Nunavut) and caribou. Resources on the page range from academic papers to a hand-drawn ink calendar showing the phases of local Inuit use of caribou.
Straight Up North (2016)

Usage: Non-commercial with attribution
Format: web

Beverly and QaminirjuaqBarren-groundAhiakBathurstLorillardWager BayPeople

What Happened to the Beverly Caribou Herd after 1994?

A 2015 paper that argues that the Ahiak herd may have absorbed the Beverly herd.

Migratory tundra caribou seasonal and annual distribution relative to Thaidene Nene

Brief 2011 report on the use of Thaidene Nene National Park (NWT) by the Ahiak and Bathurst herds
Parks Canada (2011)

Format: pdf