QUEBEC — The Raglan nickel-copper mine belonging to Toronto's Xstrata Nickel has pledged $350,000 over the next five years to support a large-scale research program that aims to further understand the migratory caribou populations in Quebec and Labrador in the context of climate change.
The ambitious research program will be conducted under the leadership of Université Laval Professor Steeve Coté. His team will work to determine the factors influencing the density and space use of caribou and the potential impacts of changes to their habitat. Coté is a member of the ArcticNet Network of Centres of Excellence. The project involves academic researchers from Université Laval (Louis Bernatchez and Jean-Pierre Tremblay), Université de Sherbrooke (Marco Festa-Bianchet) and the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune du Québec (MRNF) (Christian Dussault). The research project is also supported by the NSERC, the MRNF, Hydro Quebec, the Fédération des pourvoiries du Québec and the Fédération québécoise des chasseurs.
"We are proud to support Professor Cote's research efforts," said Joel Page, director sustainable development Raglan. "We believe it is important to better understand the caribou herd interaction with its local environment, including food abundance, predators and variation in snow and ice cover. Caribou lie at the heart of Nunavik Inuit culture and remain a main staple of traditional Inuit diet. Xstrata Nickel's Raglan mine, through its sustainable development policy, takes a keen interest in migratory caribou herds numbering in the hundreds of thousands roaming near our installations."
ArcticNet Network maintains a website at www.ArcticNet.ULaval.ca. Expedition logbooks as well as information about the numerous projects is available.