Muskox site fidelity and group cohesion in Jameson Land, East Greenland

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Increasing hunting pressure in Greenland demands improved knowledge on Muskox (Ovibos moschatus) biology in general and movement and grouping behaviour in specific to insure their proper management. Improving the exchange of information between hunters and managers is also necessary. Muskox site fidelity and group cohesion was examined over a 16-year period using 477 earmarked individuals tagged in 1982 and 1983. Combining information from scientists and hunters, observations of live individuals were primarily made from 1983 to 1990, while the latest tagged muskoxen reported shot was from 1998. Muskoxen in this area had a very loose group structure, with mother-young pairs as the only apparent bond between individuals. Furthermore, the tagged muskoxen lacked strong fidelity to the site where they were tagged and roamed within an 11.000-km2 area. Hunters reported tagged muskoxen shot up to 120 km away from the capture site. From the hunters' reports, we determined that the central part of Jameson Land around Mikael Bjerg was the preferred hunting area in winter. In summer, most muskoxen were shot near the coast of the central part of Jameson Land. The hunter compliance in this study confirms that such cooperation can provide important information for management related to muskox harvesting and monitoring.
TidsskriftPolar Biology
Sider (fra-til)50-55
StatusUdgivet - 2004

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