Agreement preserves northern Yukon land for wildlife

The land helps connect a network of protected areas across international borders

The Inuvialuit have signed an agreement with the Canadian and Yukon governments to preserve nearly 850,000 hectares across the northern Yukon.

The new Aullaviat/Anguniarvik Traditional Conservation Area is intended to protect wildlife across the region, including species like the Porcupine barren-ground caribou (Ranifer tarandus groenlandicus) herd, polar bears (Ursus maritimus), and migratory birds. The land helps connect a network of protected areas stretching across international borders, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

The land is one of a growing number of Indigenous-led conservation areas, where Indigenous governments have the primary role in protecting and conserving ecosystems.

Canada is contributing $10 million to support an Inuvialuit-led monitoring program in the area. Philanthropic organizations are providing $3.5 million more.

The agreement comes 40 years after the signing of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, which identified the northern Yukon as a place for the conservation of wildlife, habitat and traditional Inuvialuit use.

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Header Image: A new Yukon conservation area is intended to protect wildlife across a region stretching to Alaska. Credit: Dean Biggins/USFWS