Muskoxen in Angujaartorfiup Nunaa, West Greenland: Monitoring, Spatial Distribution, Population Growth, and Sustainable Harvest
Keywords:abundance, aerial survey, monitoring, muskoxen, Ovibos moschatus, population growth, spatial distribution
In the 1960s, 27 muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) were introduced to Angujaartorfiup Nunaa, which is located next to Kangerlussuaq Airport in West Greenland. Data from 12 aerial surveys of muskoxen from 1986 to 1996 show 1) that the population has stabilized at 3000 muskoxen since hunting was initiated in 1988, 2) that the population has maintained a high level of reproduction during the study period, and 3) that an annual kill of about 700 muskoxen will maintain the population at its current level if natural mortality and reproduction remain unchanged. Using a geographical information system to subdivide data by topography and altitude showed that muskoxen greatly favour valleys and lowland areas. Densities of muskoxen above 500 m above sea level were less than 51% of densities below 500 m above sea level.