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A preliminary study of the musk-oxen of Slidre Fiord District, Fosheim Peninsula, Ellesmere Island Tener, John Simpson

Abstract

Herds of musk-oxen in the vicinity of Slidre Fiord, Ellesmere Island, N.W.T., were studied from April 19 to August 24, 1951, to obtain facts concerning the life requirements of these ungulates. The Canadian Wildlife Service, Department of Resources and Development, Ottawa, initiated the investigation in order to be able to consider these requirements for management purposes. Vital statistics were gathered on the herds. The sexes and ages of the animals were determined, and the proportions of these classes were analyzed. The calving and the breeding seasons were determined as specifically as possible. Winter and summer ranges were examined to determine their characteristics satisfying, the needs of musk-oxen. Movements to the ranges were observed to ascertain whether or not they were migratory. The kinds and densities of plant species existing on the summer range were recorded. Food habits of musk-oxen were determined by timed counts and by the examination of the stomach contents of a two-year-old bull. Wolf predation was evaluated by scat analysis, by the examination of wolf, stomachs, by the examination of remains of dead musk-oxen, and by observation of attempted predation.

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