CARMA stands for CircumArctic Rangifer Monitoring and Assessment Network. The Network is a group of scientists, managers and community people who have a common interest in the future survival of the northern Rangifer herds. CARMA is primarily focussed on the status of most of the large migratory Rangifer herds and thus, as yet, does not deal with woodland caribou and Peary caribou in North America or forest and marine reindeer in Fennoscandia and Russia. As well, we do not deal with domestic reindeer or the herding economy.
To fulfill its mandate, CARMA has been developing standard protocols that we hope will be adopted by field personal - to date we have developed standards for the individual animal (for assessing body condition and pathogen status) as well as to measure productivity of herds. In the future we hope to produce a manual of standard protocols for assessing habitat condition and trends.
Presently CARMA is funded under the Canadian International Polar Year (IPY) program and, with this funding, we are in turn funding a number of international projects that will help us achieve our goals and to address the overall synthesis questions that CARMA has posed.
Observations from community members, particularly Rangifer hunters, are an important part of CARMA and we are working with a number of comanagement groups in developing tools that will aid in decision making.
CARMA is pulling together data from a number of herds and, through a cross-herd analysis and synthesis, and is assessing the vulnerabilities of herds to future global change.