ENVIRONMENT YUKON






 

Planning

 

 

 

Species-based management plans address conservation or population management concerns for an animal, fish, or bird population.


 

 

Community-based fish and wildlife work plans are developed to address local fish and wildlife management concerns in a coordinated manner within a Traditional Territory.


 

Mammals

 

 

Both of the barren-ground caribou herds that occur in Yukon are increasing in size. Of the 26 woodland caribou herds in Yukon, two are increasing in size, 11 are relatively stable and three are declining.


 

 

Monitoring shows that the concentration of mercury in the kidneys of the Porcupine caribou herd continues to be low.


 


 

The snowshoe hare is a keystone species in the boreal forest; changes in hare population cycles can be an early warning system for ecosystem changes due to climate change.



 

 

Winter ticks have not caused serious problems for Yukon wildlife. However, given they have been identified on several Yukon species, they are likely here to stay.


 

Fish

 

 

The spawning escapement target for Canadian-origin Yukon River Chinook salmon was met in 2016.


 

 

Healthy lake trout populations reflect the general health of an aquatic ecosystem. Lake trout harvest in most Yukon lakes continues to be sustainable; catch and possession limits will be reduced in April 2017 for one lake to maintain a sustainable fishery, and for for three to allow depleted populations to rebuild.


 

 

There is a correlation between the length of a fish and its mercury concentration. Most fish from Yukon’s lakes have mercury levels well below Health Canada’s maximum limit.


 

Birds

 

 

Monitoring waterfowl presence and abundance gives a good indication of the ecological health of the area, as waterfowl depend on wetland areas for food, nesting areas and safety.


 

 

Trumpeter swans were considered endangered in the 1970s. Monitoring efforts shows that their numbers continue to increase in Yukon.


 

 

Scavenging birds and waterfowl may ingest sources of lead—like bullets, shot and lead fragments—because of their feeding behaviours. The Government of Yukon is gathering information to better understand how birds are being affected by lead and how it varies by species.


 

Species at risk

 

 

Yukon’s healthy ecosystems are a refuge to many species that are considered at risk nationally due to declines outside the territory.