Waterfowl Harvest Benefits in Northern Aboriginal Communities and Potential Climate Change Impacts
Migratory waterfowl are important to the diets of residents in Canada’s northern communities. Contrary to recreational hunters, indigenous peoples have rights to harvest wildlife for subsistence needs without permits. As a result, migratory waterfowl are an important component of diets of Aboriginal peoples in northern Canada, substituting for expensive beef transported from the south. Wild geese and duck provide many benefits to native people, including improved nutrition and health. In this paper, scaled-down data from global climate models are used in a wildlife model to project potential migratory waterfowl abundance in the Northwest Territories for three future periods up to 2080. The models project potential future harvests of geese and ducks by Aboriginal hunters and the financial and nutritional benefits. It turns out that northern Aboriginal peoples can benefit significantly as a result of climate change that affects migratory waterfowl, but likely at the expense of hunters and recreationists in other regions of North America.
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