The size of a large Alaska caribou herd has dropped by more than 50 percent over the last three years and government researchers are trying to understand why.

Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game says the Central Arctic caribou herd hit a peak size of about 70,000 in 2010.

The herd’s numbers fell to about 50,000 in 2013 following a late spring that resulted in a high number of deaths.

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