The Population Management Working Group (PMWG) of the NBCKC

 Established in 2020, the Population Management Working Group (PMWG), part of the National Boreal Caribou Knowledge Consortium (NBCKC), is a forum to share and generate new knowledge regarding population-based management actions for boreal caribou across Canada. The PMWG aims to bring together the best available information and help inform actions by management practitioners across Canada to best support caribou conservation and recovery programs.   

Our Goal  


PMWG logo

All aspects of caribou recovery can be controversial, including habitat protection that affects local resource-based economies, and population-based management actions that may be less acceptable to others. The focus of this group is to advance our understanding of management actions and their potential value to caribou conservation and recovery.


The goals of the PMWG are: 

  1. Invite all those involved in caribou management together to share information and insights gained about population management actions completed or underway across the country.
  2. Provide a forum to discuss challenges and opportunities (lessons learned).
  3. Provide a forum for those not currently engaged in management activities to learn from management practitioners and to have their perspectives heard. 
What We Do  

The PMWG advances our goals by meeting on a bi-monthly basis as a network of adaptive management practitioners. To date, the PMWG has completed Phase 1, which established a forum that brings members together to coordinate, share and generate new knowledge regarding population-based management actions for boreal caribou across Canada. The following tenets guide the work of the PMWG: 

  1. Management actions are interim actions until the effects of habitat restoration and protection are conducive to self-sustaining populations.
  2. Caribou management is an evolving field, and there is no "one size fits all" management action that can be applied to all caribou herds in Canada.
  3. Management actions can be controversial; consequently, advantages and disadvantages to a given action need to be weighed prior to an action's deployment. 

The PMWG is now moving into Phase 2, which is to inform the establishment of a network of adaptive management projects for boreal caribou across their range. This network will consist of pilot areas identified across a gradient of environmental variables. This work would include the long-term monitoring of these ranges through partnerships established by the network.

PMWG Members: Our Unique Structure  

The PMWG is organized into two groups: A core group and an extension group. 


The core group membership consists of individuals directly engaged in management actions or evaluating the outcome of these actions, for caribou recovery. 


The core group meets regularly to maintain a community of practice, with an emphasis on “real-time results and information exchange”. 


The extension group has a broader membership than the core group; Membership here is open to individuals and representatives of organizations who are engaged in caribou conservation or hold knowledge regarding caribou, which may include representatives from Indigenous organizations, academia, industry, and non-governmental organizations.


Meetings between the core and extension groups improve transparency, understanding, and rationale for management practices and provide an opportunity for diverse perspectives to be conveyed. 

PMWG group structure figure The relationship between the core group and extension group of the PMWG, where green arrows represent a feedback loop of communication. As ideas arise in one group, they will be mulled over, considered, and possibly replied to by the other group.  

Between the core and extension groups, The PMWG's membership includes ~40 members representing Federal, Territorial, and Provincial governments, Indigenous organizations and communities, industry, ENGOs and academia. The PMWG and the NBCKC are supported by a central secretariat within Environment and Climate Change Canada. 

Membership on the PMWG core group is limited, however, if you would like to join the PMWG extension group, please contact Melanie Mullin at the NBCKC secretariat at .

Current Member Organizations 
Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute
(Craig DeMars*, Robert Serrouya*)
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador NBCKC Secretariat 
(Melanie Mullin*)
Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
(Lori Neufeld)
Government of the Northwest Territories
(Lisa Worthington)
Parks Canada
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - Northern Alberta Government of Manitoba Saulteau
Cold Lake First Nation Government of Ontario
(Art Rodgers, Brent Patterson, Lindsay McColm)
Environment and Climate Change Canada
(Anna Calvert, Melissa Vance*)
Government of Québec  Université de Québec à Rimouski
(Martin-Hugues St-Laurent)
Fort Nelson First Nation
(Katherine Wolfenden)
Government of Saskatchewan
(Gigi Pittoello)
University of Alberta
Forest Products Association of Canada Mining Association of Canada University of Guelph
Government of Alberta 
(Troy Hegel) 
McLeod Lake Indian Band
(Nathan Prince)
University of Northern British Columbia
Government of British Columbia
(Agnes Pelletier, Michael Bridger)
Nature United Wildlife Infometrics
  Natural Resources Canada  *indicates PMWG co-chairs