Literature Review and Method Development for Incorporating Indigenous Knowledge into an Integrated Population Model for the Southern and Northern Beaufort Sea Polar Bear Subpopulations

Posted on Aug. 3, 2022

The Southern Beaufort Sea (SB) and Northern Beaufort Sea (NB) polar bear subpopulations are managed jointly by multiple organizations within Alaska and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (SB subpopulation) and within Nunavut and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (NB subpopulation). In recent years, commissioners of the Inuvialuit-Iñupiat Agreement have prioritized including Indigenous Knowledge (IK) in abundance estimates for SB polar bears and planning an IK workshop for a future Inuvialuit-Iñupiat meeting. This report represents foundational work to accomplish this priority.

The report addresses three needs:

  1. Development of a general framework and methodology for including Indigenous knowledge in integrated population model (IPM).
  2. Completion of a literature review of efforts to incorporate Indigenous knowledge in quantitative ecological models for wildlife, with a focus on integrated population models and other demographic models.
  3. Identification and review of the adequacy of available Indigenous knowledge literature for inclusion in an integrated population model for the SB and NB polar bear subpopulations.

The next phase of this research will be gathering new IK and bringing it together with new science-based information from a DNA mark-recapture study.

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