Home
Field Notes
 
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
SELAWIK: Muskoxen Headed This Way?
Alaska Region, August 9, 2007
Print Friendly Version
Muskoxen--stocky, long-haired animals well adapted to the far north--are expanding eastward towards the Selawik NWR.
Muskoxen--stocky, long-haired animals well adapted to the far north--are expanding eastward towards the Selawik NWR. - Photo Credit: n/a

Earlier this year the Selawik Refuge participated in the biannual census of Seward Peninsula muskoxen.  This is a minimum count census of the area’s muskox population conducted cooperatively by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management.  The results showed a 12.6 percent increase in the Seward Peninsula muskox population since 2005 for an average growth rate of 5 to 7 percent per year over the past seven years.  The population is now estimated to number 2,699 animals.  Introduced to the Seward Peninsula in 1970, muskoxen increased at an annual average of 14 percent in the 30-year period from 1970-2000.

This year Refuge staff were surprised to discover muskoxen much further east—in the Nulato Hills—than previously observed.  Refuge staff are working with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to develop projects to monitor this eastward range expansion of the Seward Peninsula muskox population.  Muskoxen are still a rare sight on the Selawik Refuge, although a few small groups have been documented in the southern portion of the refuge over the past five years.  Will muskoxen become a staple on the Selawik Refuge?  Stay tuned for future updates!


Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, Kristen_Gilbert@fws.gov



Send to:
From:

Notes:
Find a Field Notes Entry

Search by keyword

Search by State




Search by Region


US Fish and Wildlife Service footer