Marine Systems

Current research projects (2019-2023)

Walrus Health and Population Dynamics in the Context of Climate Change

Location: Nunavik
Walruses are a vital species for traditional Inuit hunting practice and are relied upon for subsistence purposes. However, this species is vulnerable to climate change and human disturbance. To protect this high-value mammal, it is crucial to better understand the threats that could impact the walrus population, including biological variables like trichinellosis. Using mapping, current data modeling, and traditional knowledge, this project aims to identify the higher risk region in Nunavik for trichinellosis. It also aims to indicate which walrus (sex, age, size, health status) are more infected by Trichinella Nativa. The research project will be led by the Wildlife Biologist of the Nunavik Research Centre in Kuujjuaq, the team at the Nunavik Research Centre, and volunteer hunters. It will take place in six coastal communities of Nunavik. This information will support predictions about the long-term viability of the Inuit walrus hunt and support Inuit in the pursuit of this traditional activity.