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The George River caribou herd has dropped substantially in the last two years - and looking back to 2010 the numbers are even more dire.

George River caribou population dwindling at alarming rate

Dalia Ibrahim
Digital Reporter

Friday, August 15, 2014, 12:31 PM -

The Newfoundland and Labrador government says the George River caribou herd has plummeted by more than 13,000 over the last two years. 

In a recent survey involving the affected provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Quebec, researchers found that the herd is now estimated at about 14,200 -- down drastically from the 27,600 counted in 2012. 

The photo survey by biologists also proves that in just four years, the herd's numbers have dropped by more than 80 per cent. 

In 2010, there was an estimated 74,000 animals migrating between northern Quebec and Labrador. 

In an interview with The Telegram, Environment and Conservation Minister Vaughn Granter says despite monitoring, research and a five-year moratorium on all hunting, the herd continues to struggle. 

SEE ALSO: Incredible video shows caribou floating on broken up ice in the Yukon

Newfoundland launched a three-year, $1-million data collection program in 2014 in an effort to halt the herd's decline. 

Granter adds Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and aboriginal governments are discussing a joint management plan. 

The Newfoundland and Labrador government's five-year ban on hunting caribou in Labrador that was implemented in 2013 remains in effect. 

With files from the St. John's Telegram

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