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Population demography of the muskoxen in Jameson Land, 1982-1990

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Author(s): Peter Aastrup | Anders Mosbech

Journal: Rangifer
ISSN 1890-6729

Volume: 20;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 229;
Date: 2000;
Original page

Keywords: Greenland | monitoring | muskox | population composition | population size | population trend | seismic surveys | pupulation dempgraphy | muskoxen | Jameson Land

ABSTRACT
Studies of the Jameson Land muskox population in Northeast Greenland were conducted 1982-1990 in conjunction with an oil exploration. A population monitoring program consisted of one yearly aerial survey in late winter and a ground survey for population composition in August. The estimated unadjusted minimum average population size was approximately 4000 with a maximum size of 4700 and a minimum of 2800 muskoxen. The monitoring program was adequate to detect an annual change of about 10%. Population composition data proved to be essential. The only indication of a negative impact from oil exploration was detected in the fraction of yearlings. The average calf proportion was roughly 18% and about half of the calves died during their first year. The population density and composition was similar to the Banks Island muskox population in Canada and to the West Greenland population although the latter population had a higher productivity. Seismic operations and/or climatic conditions may have had a negative impact on the calf survival during 1986-1989, when fractions of yearlings were significantly lower than before and after the exploration.
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