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Population Characteristics of Musk-Oxen in the Jones Sound Region of the Northwest Territories

Milton M. R. Freeman
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 35, No. 1 (Jan., 1971), pp. 103-108
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3799877
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3799877
Page Count: 6
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Population Characteristics of Musk-Oxen in the Jones Sound Region of the Northwest Territories
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Abstract

Following ground surveys during 1966-67, a minimal population of 970 musk-oxen (Ovibos moschatus) is estimated for the 20,000 square miles of Canadian arctic archipelago adjacent to and including Jones Sound. Seasonal changes in herd size are reported, with largest herds found during winter and small herds in late spring and summer. Calf crop varies throughout the region, as well as annually, but 12.5 percent is suggested as a probable average annual calf crop for this high arctic stock. Natural mortality, as established by examination of musk-oxen dying during the fall and winter months, indicated that about half the mortality was due to wolf (Canis lupus) predation, and that all age-classes of musk-oxen are to be found. In view of the paucity of population data for high arctic musk-oxen, and the recent proposals to exploit the stock for commercial purposes, the paper suggests the pressing need for development of a population model to facilitate prudent management.

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