This is a collaborative study on caribou in the Sahtú region between the:

  • Sahtú Renewable Resource Board
  • Renewable Resource Councils (RRCs) in Norman Wells, Fort Good Hope, Tulıt’a, and Délınę
  • GNWT Environment and Natural Resources
  • University of Manitoba
  • Trent University
  • University of Calgary

The research will monitor caribou populations using non-invasive sampling methods.

Sample Analysis


In late May and early June 2014 we swabbed the caribou scat samples collected during the past winter from the Sahtú Region for genetic analysis. Here, Terrence Mackeinzo removes the mucus layer (made up of epithelial cells from the inside of the intestine) on the outside of the pellets so we can isolate and amplify the DNA. By analyzing the caribou DNA we are able to identify individual caribou and understand how caribou groups and populations are related to each other.


Bridget Redquest helps train local lab technicians and high school students from the Mackenzie Mountain School in Norman Wells in the proper lab protocols used to swab caribou fecal pellets for genetic analysis in the ENR Wildlife Lab. From left to right: Hunter Gray (student), Delany Harley (student), Jillian Tamara Brown (science teacher), Bridget Redquest (lab technician from Trent University Genomics Lab), Brianna Shae (student), Courtney Small (student), and Cheyenne Menacho (local lab tech).


ENR staff Heather Sayine-Crawford and Stephanie Behrens (left to right) help swab caribou scat samples collected by hunters and trappers from across the Sahtú over the past winter.

A Few Photos!



A beautiful pile of caribou scat! Don’t forget that you will receive a 25$ gift card for gas if you collect a pile of scat like this! More details here.


Moose scat collected for genetic analysis. More details here.

Sample Types

There are two different types of samples to collect:

1. Genetic Samples - frozen caribou and moose scat (ie., poop)
2. Health Monitoring Samples - tissues from harvested moose and caribou

And the winners are…

DSC_2095We have picked the winners of the prizes for participation in the caribou and moose study last winter! Everyone who participated in the Caribou and Moose Study (collected caribou and moose scat or brought in health monitoring samples) during the winter of 2013 was eligible to win these three awesome prizes!

G&V snowshoes: Veronique Kochon

Handmade beaver mitts: Angus Shae

Handmade packsack: Roger Odgaard

We’ll be sending your prizes out this week! Congrats to all our winners. Packsack and mitts made by Tulit’a elder Julie Lennie. To be eligible for the draw for next year, remember to collect caribou or moose poop this winter!


Illustrations by Doug Urquhart