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Lack of Reproduction in Muskoxen and
Arctic Hares Caused by Early Winter?

L. David Mech1


Abstract: A lack of young muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) and arctic hares (Lepus arcticus) in the Eureka area of Ellesmere Island, Northwest Territories (now Nunavut), Canada, was observed during summer 1998, in contrast to most other years since 1986. Evidence of malnourished muskoxen was also found. Early winter weather and a consequent 50% reduction of the 1997 summer replenishment period appeared to be the most likely cause, giving rise to a new hypothesis about conditions that might cause adverse demographic effects in arctic herbivores.

Key words: arctic hare, Lepus arcticus, Ellesmere Island, malnutrition, muskox, Ovibos moschatus, population, reproduction, snow, weather, winter severity.


This resource is based on the following source (Northern Prairie Publication 1084):
Mech, L. David.  2000.  Lack of reproduction in muskoxen and arctic 
     hares caused by early winter?  Arctic 53(1):69-71.

This resource should be cited as:

Mech, L. David.  2000.  Lack of reproduction in muskoxen and arctic 
     hares caused by early winter?  Arctic 53(1):69-71.  Jamestown, 
     ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.  
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/mammals/muskarc/index.htm  
     (Version 31MAY2000).

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1 U.S. Geological Survey, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, 8711 - 37th St. SE, Jamestown, North Dakota 58401-7317, U.S.A.; mailing address: North Central Research Station, 1992 Folwell Ave., St. Paul, Minnesota 55108, U.S.A.; mechx002@tc.umn.edu
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