Monday, June 18, 2007

AOC Says Musk Ox on North Slope in Trouble

The Alaska Outdoor Council (AOC) today published on it's website a heavily viewed video of a North Slope muskox herd from which a grizzly bear apparently kills two calves. In text accompanying the video a biologist writes "....there are no muskoxen left there (ANWR) now. Yeah, that's right. Zero. This predatory behavior pattern has also now spread to Unit 26B, and I'm predicting that within about 5 years, muskoxen will be gone from the slope except for a few straggling bulls. Now that the problem is in 26B, and almost entirely on state land, we need to take action."

The AOC page says 15 years ago the North Slope supported about 600 muskoxen -- and a small, but "highly sought-after" hunt. The problem appears to be related to grizzly bears which biologists and other observers believe to have specialized in muskox predation.

The Council is asking members "to express concern over bear predation on musk ox on the North Slope to Gov. Palin and the Congressional delegation."

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