SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Large Group of Muskox Killed in Recent Storm


March 26, 2011

(SitNews) - During a routine flight to radio-track collared muskoxen in Bering Land Bridge National Preserve on March 15th, 2011, it was discovered that a large group had perished during a flood.  Thirty-two animals were found frozen in the ice on the northern coast of the Seward Peninsula, though it is possible that an additional 23 may be buried deeper and not visible until spring. 

This group, containing four animals that have been fitted with VHF or GPS radio collars, numbered 55 when observed on February 14th, 2011.  On February 25th, a winter storm generated a tidal surge and coastal flooding that rapidly inundated low lying areas.  The National Park Service is leading an investigation to document the composition of the group and the parameters of the storm that caused the rapid flooding and mortalities.

The monitoring of the four collared animals is an active component of a five-year study on muskoxen population dynamics in northwest Alaska.  The cooperative study is led by Dr. Layne Adams, Research Wildlife Biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, and Dr. Joel Berger, Senior Scientist for the Wildlife Conservation Society and a professor at the University of Montana.

The National Park Service is working with local communities and researchers who may be in the vicinity of this region to minimize conflicts with other wildlife drawn to the area.  It is unlawful to remove horns from national parklands, and likely the meat is neither salvageable nor palatable.


On the Web:

Collared muskox project

Source of News:

Bering Land Bridge National Preserve



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