Research

It is the NMRWB’s mandate to oversee the management and regulation of wildlife and matters pertaining thereto in the Nunavik Marine Region (NMR). Research, including both western science and Inuit Traditional Knowledge (ITK), plays an integral role in assisting the NMRWB in its wildlife management role.

The Research trust

The NMRWB requires an informed and effective role in wildlife research in order to fulfill its management functions. NILCA article 5.2.7.2 lays the groundwork for the creation of a fund that will be used to finance research activities within the NMR that respond to deficiencies in current knowledge. In doing so, the NMRWB can ensure continued harvesting of wildlife by the Nunavik Inuit that will meet their basic personal needs.

Funding application

Is your project eligible to this research fund?

Governmental departments (Researchers, students, NGO) can submit their research project using the application form and guidelines below. Projects must respond to NMRWB research priorities and be conducted within the limits of the Nunavik Marine Region. Projects promoting and encouraging the training or employment of Nunavik Inuit in different fields of wildlife research and management will be favored.

NMRWB funded research should meet the following criteria to the best extent possible:

  • Meet the needs of the NMRWB for making management decisions
  • Recognize the value of Nunavik Inuit knowledge of wildlife and wildlife habitat
  • Provide training or employment opportunities for Nunavimmiut
  • Include meaningful consultation with, and reporting to, involved communities
  • Strive to include participation of Nunavik Inuit in the following ways:
    • Data collection
    • Local guides / Hire support locally
    • As knowledge holders

NMRWB Research fund

The standard application form is available for researchers to download at any time of the year

Research priorities

Review of applications is based primarily on current research priorities.

Based on surveys conducted since 2015, NMRWB staff gained a better understanding on the research priorities of the region’s hunters. The surveys were completed by elected members of the 14 Nunavik community’s Local Nunavimmi Umajulirijiit Katujjiqatigiinningit (LNUKs) / Anguvigaapit. The following species and topics are considered as high priority issues for research:

  • Species: Beluga, Ringed Seal, Polar Bear and Arctic Tern
  • Environmental changes (e.g. changes in sea ice conditions)
  • Potential impacts of development (e.g. marine shipping, construction of port infrastructure, etc.) on marine and coastal ecosystems
  • Invasive species

List of research priorities

Find out about research priorities in the Nunavik Marine Region

Currently funded research

The past and current projects funded by NMRWB include research into individual species, frequently for population assessment (e.g. aerial surveys of beluga) as well as research looking at broader issues or that deal with ecosystem wide impacts (e.g. hydroelectric impacts on sea ice).

  • Golden Eagle Nest Survey in Hudson Bay Area – Phase 1

    During the 20th century, the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) population decreased significantly in North America, mostly due to human activities such as hunting, trapping and disturbance. In 2005, the species was designated as “vulnerable” in Québec in accordance with the Loi sur les espèces menacées ou vulnérables (RLRQ, c. e-12.01). Of the whole breeding population of Eastern North America, more than 60% nest in northern Québec. This means the Nunavik region is essential to maintain healthy population of golden eagles. Given the uncertainties in the population trends (EROPQ, 2020), the recovery plan put in place for the Golden Eagle was extended for another 10 years (2020-2030).

    The project presented here is led by the Ministère de la faune, de la forêt et des parcs (MFFP) in collaboration with Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS-ECCC). It aims to address different objectives from the recovery strategy mentioned above. Amongst others, it is to explore areas with a high nesting potential but with no data recorded to this day, in order to get an accurate estimation of the Golden Eagle breeding population size in Nunavik and other parts of northern Quebec. The first year of this project focuses on the Hudson Bay Area, and the MFFP aims to conduct a second year of research in the Hudson Strait.

    The whole project will further allow to have a better understanding of the range of distribution of Golden Eagle in Nunavik.

    photo © Alexandre Anctil, MFFP

  • Aerial survey of the South and East Hudson Bay walrus

    Project led by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).

    2022-2023

  • Title of project Community-based monitoring and Inuit knowledge of sea ice, wildlife entrapments and oceanography: Phase III of assessing cumulative impacts in east Hudson Bay

    Phase III of assessing cumulative impacts in east Hudson Bay. 

    A successful network of community-driven research has been established and implemented in east Hudson Bay over the last eight years under funding from NMRWB and matching funds from our project partners. Strong community support has led to compelling results from oceanographic sampling by hunters in Inukjuak, Umiujaq and Kuujjuaraapik in collaboration with parallel programs in Sanikiluaq and Chisasibi, addressing key gaps in baseline monitoring.

    2022-23 will see the continuation of Phase III of the proposed project, with year three of this phase refining the implementation of wildlife and ice monitoring and ice hazard mapping pilot programs. The SIKU platform will be used to facilitate these programs by providing a means for local hunters to record and share their observations in near-real time with other project members and SIKU users.

    For more information on the project, visit the Arctic Eider Society website.

  • Arctic Marine Ecosystem Resilience and Resistance to Environmental Changes

    DFO project in the community of Kuujjuaraapik and Whapmagoostui.

    2019-2022

  • Inuit Knowledge about Arctic Tern in Nunavik

    Arctic tern is a key species of the Arctic ecosystem and is an important bird species for Inuit in Nunavik, who consume tern eggs and who use terns as indicators of important biological areas. Over the last few years, Inuit from various communities in Nunavik have reported that Arctic tern numbers are in decline and have expressed concerns about this situation. Scientific surveys conducted in some areas of the Canadian and circumpolar Arctic also suggest that the tern population may be reduced now, compared to what it was in the past. Inuit in Nunavik have highlighted the need for more research on this subject.

    The main goal of this project was to document Inuit knowledge about Arctic tern distribution, abundance and habitat in Nunavik in order to support ongoing conservation initiatives and identify community-based monitoring opportunities for this species. Phase 1 of the project was to conduct interviews in the community of Kuujjuaraapik in November 2018. This part of the project is now completed and a scientific paper has been published. Find out more here!