Sustainsble harvest by dfgh4bnmu

VIEWS: 21 PAGES: 58

									The scientific basis for managing the
 sustainable harvest of caribou and
muskoxen in Greenland for the 21st
 century: an evaluation and agenda




             Technical Report nr. 34, 2000
        Pinngortitaleriffik, Grønlands Naturinstitut
                                                       1
Titel:            The scientific basic for managing the sustainable harvest of caribou and muskoxen in
                  Greenland for the 21st century: an evaluation and agenda

Authors:                                                 .M.
                  J.D.C. Linnell, C. Cuyler, A. Loison, P Lund, K.G. Motzfeldt, T. Ingerslev & A. Landa

Translation:      Kelly Berthelsen

Layout:           Kirsten Rydahl

Series:           Technical report no. 34, May 2000

Publisher:        Pinngortitaleriffik, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources

Cover photo:      Jenseeraq Rasmussen from Isortoq, South Greenland, on hunt autumn 1996
                  Photographer: Pipaluk Møller Lund

Fundings:         Dancea (Danish Cooperation for Environment in Arctic), Greenland Home Rule
                  Department of Industries, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research and Greenland
                  Institute of Natural Resources

Prints:           100

ISBN:             87-90024-66-4

ISSN:             1397-3657

Reference:        Linnell, J.D.C., Cuyler, C., Loison, A., Lund, P.M., Motzfeldt, K.G., Ingerslev, T. &
                  Landa, A. 2000. The scientific basic for managing the sustainable harvest of caribou
                  and muskoxen in Greenland for the 21st century: an evaluation and agenda. Technical
                  report no. 34, Pinngortitaleriffik, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources. 55 pp.

Available from:   Pinngortitaleriffik
                  Greenland Institute of Natural Resources
                   .O.
                  P Box 570
                  3900 Nuuk
                  Greenland
                  Phone +299 32 10 95
                  Fax +299 32 59 57
                  www.natur.gl




2
  The scientific basis for managing
 the sustainable harvest of caribou
and muskoxen in Greenland for the
   21st century: an evaluation and
                agenda



                                  by

                                                     1
                    John D. C. Linnell
                                      2
                     Christine Cuyler
                                    3
                        Anne Loison
                                         2
                   Pipaluk Møller Lund
                                           2
                  Kristjana G. Motzfeldt
                                       2
                     Torsten Ingerslev
                                   2
                        Arild Landa
              Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA)
              1

              Greenland Institute of Natural Resources (GN)
              2

                 3
                   NINA & Norwegian Polar Institute (NP)




            Technical Report nr. 34, 2000
       Pinngortitaleriffik, Grønlands Naturinstitut
                                                               3
Final Summary
In order to ensure that the future harvest of Greenland’s caribou and muskox populations is
sustainable, it is vital to build management on a solid foundation of knowledge. Although
there has been much research on the caribou and muskox populations in Greenland, there
has never been an overall research strategy, and the diverse studies have never been collated.
In order to ensure that the necessary knowledge which managers require is available, it was
first necessary to summarise the existing information.

Therefore, the first half of this report aims to summarise the existing knowledge concerning
muskox and caribou from Greenland. This includes studies of behaviour, ecology, status,
population dynamics and genetics. As well as providing an overview of the studies that have
been conducted, many of the main results have been collated into tables. The second half of
the report contains recommendations for the most important studies that are needed to fill in
the gaps in both user and scientific knowledge. The most important gap identified is for a co-
ordinated monitoring program for both wild ungulate species. An outline of methods and
timetable for such a program is included that builds on a combination of the methods that
have already been used in Greenland, together with experience from Scandinavia and Ca-
nada.



Sammenfatning
Det er meget vigtigt at opbygge et forvaltningssystem, der er baseret på et solidt videns-
grundlag for at sikre, at en fremtidig udnyttelse af grønlandske rener og moskusokser er bæ-
redygtig. Selvom der har været udført megen forskning omkring rensdyr- og moskusokse-
bestande i Grønland, har der aldrig været en overordnede forskningsstrategi, og forskellige
undersøgelser er aldrig blevet koordineret. For at sikre at den nødvendige viden, som forval-
terne kræver, er tilstede, var det nødvendigt at opsummere den eksisterende viden.

Derfor stiler den første halvdel af denne rapport mod at opsummere den eksisterende viden
omkring moskusokser og rensdyr i Grønland. Det inkluderer studier af adfærd, økologi,
status, bestandsdynamik og genetik. Der er en oversigt over de studier, der er gennemført,
og mange af de væsentlige resultater er sammenstillet i skemaer. Den anden halvdel af
rapporten indeholder anbefalinger for de vigtigste studier, der er nødvendige for at udfylde
de mangler der er i brugernes viden og den videnskabelige viden. Den vigtigste mangel, der
er identificeret indtil nu, er et koordineret moniteringsprogram for både rensdyr og moskus-
okser. Der er inkluderet en oversigt over metoder og tidstabel for sådan et program, der er
bygget op omkring en kombination af de metoder, der allerede har været brugt i Grønland
med erfaringer fra Skandinavien og Canada.




4
Imaqarniliornera
Kalaallit Nunaanni tuttut umimmaallu piniarneqarneranni nungukkiartoqqunagit nakku-
tilliinerup ilisimasanik pitsaasunik tunngaveqarfiusup ineriartortinneqarnissaa pisariaqar-
poq. Naak Kalaallit Nunaanni tuttut umimmaallu ilisimatusarfigineqarsimagaluaqisut,
ilisimatusarnermut periusissamik pingaarnerusumik peqartoqarsimanngilaq, aammalu
misissuinerit assigiinngitsut ingerlanneqarsimanngisaannarsimapput. Ilisimasat pisariaqar-
titat nakkutilliisunit piumasarineqartut qularnaarumallugit paasissutissat pigineqareersut
eqikkarneqartariaqarput.

Tamanna pissutigalugu nalunaarusiap matuma affaa siulleq Kalaallit Nunaanni tuttut
umimmaallu pillugit ilisimasat eqikkarneqarnerinik imaqarpoq. Tamatumunnga ilaapput
makkuninnga misissuinerit: pissusii, avatangiisiminni uumaqataanerat, sumut killiffiat,
aammalu amerliartortarnerat kiisalu sananeqaatimikkut assigiiaartarnerat imaluunniit assi-
giinngisitaartarnerat. Misissuinerit ingerlanneqareersut pillugit takussutissiornermut ilan-
ngullugu aamma paasisat pingaarnerit qasseerpassuit tabelinngorlugit saqqummiunneqar-
put. Nalunaarusiap affaa kingulleq atuisartut ilisimatuullu ilisimaasaasa amigaataat pissar-
siariniarlugit ilisimatusarnerit ingerlanneqartariaqartut pillugit kaammattuutinik imaqarpoq.
Amigaataasoq pingaarnerpaaq paasineqartoq tassaavoq umimmaat tuttullu malinnaaffigine-
qarnerat ataqatigiissaagaq. Uumasut malinnaaffigineqarneranni periutsit aammalu piffis-
saliussat takusassiatut ilanngunneqarput, tassani tunngaviusimallutik periutsit Kalaallit
Nunaanni atorneqartareersimasut Skandinaviami Canadamilu misilittakkanik ilallugit.




                                                                                              5
Contents
1. Background and context ................................................................................................ 8
     1.1. The increasing pressure on natural resources ......................................................................... 8

2. Caribou ............................................................................................................................. 11
     2.1. Phases of caribou research on Greenland ................................................................................                 11
     2.2. Taxonomy of caribou ...............................................................................................................      11
     2.3. Caribou distribution ................................................................................................................    11
     2.4. Caribou population development and censuses .......................................................................                      13
     2.5. Caribou population dynamics .................................................................................................            16
          2.5.1. The development of the climatic variation hypothesis ...................................................                          16
          2.5.2. Herd structure ...............................................................................................................    16
          2.5.3. Body condition ..............................................................................................................     17
          2.5.4. Reproduction and mortality ..........................................................................................             18
     2.6. Caribou social organisation, movement and behaviour ...........................................................                          19
     2.7. Caribou foraging ecology .........................................................................................................       20
     2.8. Use and harvest of caribou ......................................................................................................        20
     2.9. Caribou - the state of knowledge: an evaluation ......................................................................                   21
     2.10. Possibility for data transfer ...................................................................................................       22
     2.11. Caribou research agenda ........................................................................................................        22
          2.11.1. Monitoring ..................................................................................................................    22
          2.11.2. General Ecology ..........................................................................................................       23
          2.11.3. Sociobiology .................................................................................................................   24
          2.11.4. Outstanding data-analysis ..........................................................................................             25

3. Muskoxen ......................................................................................................................... 26
     3.1. Phases of muskoxen research on Greenland ............................................................................                    26
     3.2. Muskox distribution ................................................................................................................     26
     3.3. Muskox population development and censuses .......................................................................                       28
     3.4. Muskox population dynamics .................................................................................................             31
          3.4.1. Herd structure ...............................................................................................................    31
          3.4.2. Body composition ..........................................................................................................       31
          3.4.3. Reproduction and mortality ..........................................................................................             31
          3.4.4. Dynamics ......................................................................................................................   31
     3.5. Muskox social organisation, movement and behaviour ..........................................................                            32
     3.6. Muskoxen foraging ecology .....................................................................................................          32
     3.7. Use and harvest of muskox ......................................................................................................         32
     3.8. Muskoxen – the state of knowledge: an evaluation .................................................................                       33
     3.9. Possibility for data transfer .....................................................................................................      34
     3.10. Muskox research agenda .......................................................................................................          34
          3.10.1. Monitoring ..................................................................................................................    34
          3.10.2. General Ecology ..........................................................................................................       34
          3.10.3. Sociobiology .................................................................................................................   35
          3.10.4. Outstanding data-analysis ..........................................................................................             35

4. Two species, different ecologies, similar research needs .......................................... 36

5. Reporting and co-ordination ........................................................................................ 37



6
6. Recommendations required from research are dependent on
   management context ....................................................................................................... 39
     6.1. Statement of objectives ............................................................................................................ 39
     6.2. Develop structures that can utilise knowledge. ....................................................................... 39
     6.3. Increase hunter compliance ..................................................................................................... 39

7. Literature cited ................................................................................................................ 40

Appendix 1. Network group for monitoring caribou and muskoxen ............................ 49
Appendix 2. Log-frame for research/monitoring plan: caribou & muskoxen .............. 50
Appendix 3. Work-plans for 2000-2001 ............................................................................. 53
Appendix 4. Summary of work-plans 2000-2001 ............................................................. 55




                                                                                                                                               7
1. Background and context
Wild caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) and muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) have always
been a vital food resource for the people of Greenland as demonstrated by the abundant
bone remains at archaeological sites (Møhl 1972, Grønnow et al. 1983, Meldgaard 1986, San-
dell & Sandell 1991, Gulløv 1997). Despite the enormous socio-economic changes that have
occurred in Greenland during the past century, caribou and muskoxen remain species of cul-
tural and economic importance (Rasmussen 1995, Sandell & Sandell 1998). Meat from these
wild ungulates is an important source of income for professional hunters and the possibility
of hunting caribou is important culturally and recreationally for non-professional hunters to
maintain their contact with the land and access to “Greenlandic foods” (Marquardt & Caul-
field 1996, Sejersen 1998). Therefore, it is clear that a major objective for wildlife managers on
Greenland is to provide for sustainable harvest of the wild ungulate populations.

However, the Greenland that is now entering the 21st century is very different from the
Greenland, which entered the 20th century (see section 1.1.). The human population has in-
creased by a factor of 5 and a market economy has developed (Lyck & Taagholt 1987, Grøn-
lands Statistik 1999). In addition, the human population has become increasingly mobile
through the increase in modern boats with powerful engines (Mattox 1973, Nielsen 1999).
Despite the low population density and lack of roads, few parts of Greenland where caribou
or muskoxen occur are more than a few hours boat travel from human settlements. Hunting
practices have also changed with the development of segregation between professional hun-
ters and recreational hunters. As of 1998 there were 2,556 professional hunters and 7,601
recreational hunters registered (Grønlands Statistik 1999). Professional hunters are depen-
dent on a diverse variety of prey species including crabs, fish, marine mammals, sea birds,
ducks and caribou/muskoxen, depending on seasonal availability (Siegstad et al. 1999).
These “country foods” are used by the hunter, sold or traded privately, sold to processing
companies or sold at town markets. The professional hunters are currently trying to turn
what has formally been a form of subsistence into a profession that is able to maintain a mo-
dern standard of life in what is becoming a cash economy with a relatively high standard of
living (Caulfield 1993, Marquardt & Caulfield 1996). Therefore the potential pressure on all
natural resources, including caribou and muskoxen, is very high (Rasmussen 1995, Heide-
Jørgensen & Reeves 1996, Born et al. 1998), and careful regulation of the harvest will be re-
quired to ensure its sustainability in the future.

In order to ensure that harvest is sustainable there is clearly a need for a firm scientific basis
to the development of management strategies and decisions. In this report we aim to review
and evaluate this basis, and develop an agenda for the most important research and monito-
ring that is required in the future.

1.1. The increasing pressure on natural resources
The present report describes a process that aims at increasing the knowledge base for mana-
ging the harvest of caribou and muskoxen populations. The logic behind the approach is that
detailed knowledge is required for sustainable management. Why is there only a need for
this information now? After all, harvest of caribou was unregulated up until 1993 in Green-
land and is still only very loosely regulated in northern Canada (Case et al. 1989, Gunn 1998).
The role of unmanaged harvest in the historic fluctuations in caribou population size (Meld-
gaard 1986) has never been specifically addressed. Still, human harvest has been identified as
an important factor in 19th century declines and regional extinctions of both caribou and



8
muskox in Alaska and the Northwest Territories (Bergerud 1967, 1974, Gunn 1998, Lent
1998). Therefore, it cannot be ruled out that over-harvest played a role in the dramatic fluc-
tuations described by Meldgaard (1986). It is highly desirable that such fluctuations should
be minimised in the future so that caribou and muskoxen can continue to provide a stable
source of meat and hunting opportunities.


Table 1. Development of the human population of Greenland, 1805-1999.


 Year         1805       1840        1860        1880         1901        1921      1938       1960          1980        1999

 Pop         6,046       7,877       9,648      9,720         11,893     14,355    18,311     33,140      49,773      56,087

References: Mattox 1973, Grønlands Statistik 1999.



However, the main argument for the importance of careful regulation of harvest lies in the
changing nature of Greenland’s population, and their economy. From 1805 to 1999 the total
human population of Greenland has increased from 6,000 to 56,000 (Table 1). In addition the
area on the west coast where the caribou and muskoxen are found (Paamiut to Sisimiut) is
the part of Greenland undergoing the fastest growth. In 1960 this region contained 34% of
the population, in 1999 it contained 48% (Grønlands Statistik 1999). This increase in the hu-
man population clearly places increased pressure on the natural resources. For the sake of
comparison, Table 2 shows the number of people (in Greenland as whole and in the munici-
palities where the ungulate populations occur) relative to the most recent population esti-
mates for both caribou and muskoxen. When compared to the comparative values for the
Northwest Territories and Nunavut in Canada it is clear that the potential harvest pressure
on Greenland’s wild ungulates is enormously higher. Residents of northern Canada have
relative access to 67 and 15 times more caribou and muskoxen respectively. This is reflected
by a study from the Kitikmeot region of northern Canada where caribou harvests averaged 3
caribou per person per year (Jingfors 1986). Such a harvest rate in Greenland would result in
extinction several times over for both muskoxen and caribou. Considering that there are over
10,000 registered hunters in Greenland, it is not even possible to provide each hunter with a
single permit each year.


Table 2. Relative number of caribou and muskoxen per person in Greenland as a whole (1999), the
municipalities where caribou, and muskox, occur, and in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut (1996). All
caribou and muskoxen figures are rounded off values from the most recent estimates.


                                                                 Population                                   Ratio

                                                 Human               Caribou       Muskox         Caribou /         Muskox /
                                                                                                   person            person

 Greenland total                                     56,087            22,000         7,000           0.39            0.13
 Greenland in caribou range                          31,547            22,000                         0.70
 Greenland in muskox range                            9,734                          7,000                            0.72
 Northwest Territories & Nunavut                     64,402       1.7 million      130,000            26.4            2.02

References: Ferguson & Gauthier 1992, Gunn 1998, Grønlands Statistik 1999, Northwest Territories Bureau of Statistics,
Nunavut Bureau of Statistics, GN unpublished




                                                                                                                                9
From these figures it is obvious that the wild ungulate populations in Greenland cannot sup-
port unregulated harvest. The need for a firm foundation of knowledge is even more impor-
tant when it is considered that harvests in northern Canada are generally kept in the range of
3-5% of the population (Case et al. 1989, Gunn 1998). In Greenland they have been in the
range of 15-25% of the population estimate. If such high harvest rates are to be maintained,
great care, and careful monitoring will be required.




10
2. Caribou

2.1. Phases of caribou research on Greenland
When compared to most other caribou or wild reindeer herds from the circumpolar region
(Hall 1989, Skogland 1990, 1994, Valkenburg 1998), Greenland caribou are among the least
studied. Much of what has been done is scattered among short-term studies, unpublished
reports, student theses, environmental impact assessments and the scientific literature. In
order to provide a temporal overview of the work that has been done so far, Table 3 lists the
most important studies chronologically.

2.2. Taxonomy of caribou
The caribou found throughout western Greenland are of the subspecies Rangifer tarandus
groenlandicus, similar to that of the Canadian mainland tundra and Baffin Island (Banfield
1961, Meldgaard 1986, Klein et al. 1987, Gravlund et al. 1998). Domestic reindeer from Nor-
way were introduced into the region east of Nuuk in 1952. Genetic studies using microsatel-
lites have confirmed that genetic introgression has occurred into both of the adjacent wild
caribou herds, but not into the more distant herds north of the Sukkertoppen glacier or far to
the south around Paamiut. Additional herds of introduced domestic reindeer have become
feral on Disko Island, the Nuussuaq peninsula north of Disko Bay, Olrik Fjord in north-west
Greenland and at Ammassalik on the south-east coast (Thing 1980, Meldgaard 1986), al-
though details of the present status of these herds are uncertain.

The north and east coasts were formerly inhabited by a short-legged high-arctic reindeer, the
sub-species R.t. eogroenlandicus. These were somewhat similar to the Peary caribou (R.t. pea-
ryi) and the Svalbard reindeer (R.t. platyrhynchus) (Degerbøl 1957, Hakala et al. 1985, Meld-
gaard 1986, Klein et al. 1987, Gravlund et al. 1998). Recent genetic studies have established a
close relationship between R.t. eogroenlandicus and R.t. pearyi, but also indicate a separate ori-
gin for R.t. platyrhynchus (Gravlund et al. 1998). However, the R.t. eogroenlandicus subspecies
died out close to the start of the 20th century. Wild caribou still occur in the region north of
Thule (Inglefield Land), although it is not clear if these are of the R.t. groenlandicus subspecies
or are Peary caribou that have immigrated from Ellesmere Island (Roby et al. 1984). The issue
of whether these are R.t. pearyi or R.t. groenlandicus needs urgent clarification because of the
highly threatened status of Peary caribou in the Canadian arctic (Miller 1990). However, this
report confines itself to the large, hunted herds of R.t. groenlandicus that occupy the southern
part of the west coast, between the south of Disko Bay and Paamiut.

2.3. Caribou distribution
The broad-scale distribution of caribou along the west coast is relatively well known (Strand-
gaard et al. 1983, Meldgaard 1986, Thing & Falk 1990, GN unpublished data), although the
fine-scale presence/absence of animals on islands, peninsulas, and isolated valleys along this
complex coastline is uncertain and may change temporally. Based on examination of the to-
pography it is possible to identify a priori a number of distinct geographical regions, between
which there is unlikely to be much exchange of individuals because of physical barriers or
filters. For the purposes of this report we will define these regions as:

Naternaq: the area north of Nordre Strømfjord and south of Disko Bay – 8,892 km2.
North: the area around Søndre Strømfjord from Sisimiut into the inland ice, and from Nordre
Strømfjord to Sukkertoppen Iskappe, including Qaggatoqaq and Angujaartorfiup Nunaa – a
total of approximately 24,000 km2


                                                                                                11
Central: the area between Sukkertoppen Iskappe and Godthåbsfjord, including Akia/Nord-
landet, the southern part of Maniitsoq, and Ujarassuit Nunaat – a total of approximately
13,000 km2.
South: the area between Ameralik and Frederikshåb Isblink, including the two sub-regions
of Uttoqqarmiut and Qeqertarsuatsiaat – 10,500 km2
Paamiut: the area south of Paamiut town and north of Sermiligaarsuk – 3,600 km2.




Table 3. Summary of the main periods of caribou-related research in west Greenland.

1960’s    Climatic fluctuation hypothesis. Based on analysis of hunting              Meldgaard 1986, 1990, Vibe 1967
          statistics and historical sources, large fluctuations in population size
          during the last 200 years were described. These were primarily
          attributed to climate

Constant Zoo-archaeology. There has been a great deal of excavation of both          Grønnow et al. 1983, Meldgaard
         recent and ancient sites throughout Greenland. Caribou bones are            1986, Møhl 1972, Sandell & Sandell
         commonly found and represent a potential source of valuable                 1991
         information.

1977-93   Kangerlussuaq – Sisimiut studies. Following a decline in numbers a         Holthe & Lassen 1984, Olesen et al.
          set of basic ecological projects were initiated. Data were collected on    1993, Roby 1980, Roby & Thing
          population age structure, harvest, grouping behaviour, activity            1985, Thing 1980, 1982, 1984, Thing
          patterns, range quality, calf mortality                                    & Clausen 1980, Thing & Thing 1983

1977-82   Aerial census of west coast populations. A series of four winter           Strandgaard et al. 1983
          surveys of population size were made

1982-86   Environmental impact assessment – Buksefjord. In connection with           Anon 1983, 1984, 1985, Aastrup 1986
          the building of a hydroelectric power station some basic data on
          caribou population size, distribution, and herd composition were
          recorded.

1986-87   Environmental impact assessment – Sarfartoq. In connection with the Aastrup et al. 1988
          proposed development of a mine a series of three aerial surveys of
          muskox and caribou were made in the Angujartorfiup Nunaa area.

1988-89   Muskoxen studies in Angujartorfiup Nunaa. In connection with a 2           Olesen 1990, 1991, Staaland &
          year muskox study, data on caribou numbers and habitat selection           Olesen 1992
          were collected as a bi-product.

1990      Aerial census of west coast populations. A single helicopter count of      Thing & Falk 1990
          the west coast populations was made.

1993-96   Aerial census of west coast populations. Four winter counts and two        GN unpublished data
          partial autumn counts were made using a strip transect method.

1995      Jawbone collection. All jawbones from animals harvested were               GN unpublished data
          collected for analysis

1996-99   Greenland Institute of Natural Resources studies. A set of studies are GN unpublished data
          presently approaching completion. Data collected include;
          -   studying caribou movements using satellite telemetry
          -   mapping of vegetation and snow cover
          -   collection of basic herd structure data and study of reproduction
              and body condition

1995-99   Hunter information. Data on approximate age, sex, condition and            GN unpublished data
          location of all legally harvested caribou is now collected annually




12
These regions reflect geographic units rather than biological units. Region North is separated
from region Central by the Sukkertoppen glacier. Region Central is separated from region
South by a combination of Godthåbsfjord and Ameralik (Lysefjord). While these do not pro-
vide an absolute barrier, they provide a narrow, and topographically complex, bottleneck
that could hinder a great deal of movement. Region South is separated from region Paamiut
by the Frederikshåb Isblink glacier and Agdlumersat fjord. The virtual lack of sea ice in win-
ter along most of this coastline further hinders the potential transfer of animals from region
to region. Studies of genetic differentiation using microsatellite data verify this separation,
especially with respect to regions North and Paamiut. Regions Central and South were more
similar, although part of this can be attributed to the fact that genes from semi-domestic rein-
deer have introgressed into both populations (Jepsen 1999). In addition none of the 15 cari-
bou with satellite collars has moved between different regions during 45 caribou years of
data collection (Cuyler & Linnell unpublished).

However, there is very little data to evaluate finer degrees of population subdivision within
these large geographical regions. The satellite telemetry data, which has been analysed so
far, indicates that some individuals are non-migratory, while others make relatively short
migrations (less than 100 km). This indicates that there is considerable potential for popula-
tion sub-structuring on a fine scale (Cuyler & Linnell unpublished). Further data is clearly
needed.

2.4. Caribou population development and censuses
There is probably no area in ungulate management that attracts more controversy than deter-
mining the size of the population (Hall 1989, Heard 1989, Couturier et al. 1996, and Thomas
1998). At the heart of the main conflicts surrounding caribou management in Greenland lies
a debate over the size of the population, the manner in which the population has developed
over time, and the census methods used to monitor its status.

Historical “guesstimates” of population size for west Greenland caribou have been made by
both Vibe (1967) and Meldgaard (1986, 1990) based on ethnological reports, chance observa-
tions, caribou skin trading records and hunting statistics. No quantitative analyses were per-
formed, and therefore the results can only be regarded as approximations or educated gues-
ses. From their collected evidence it appears safe to say that populations of Greenlandic cari-
bou have fluctuated widely following the period of Danish colonisation (early 1700’s), but
from what level, and why, will never be known for certain. However, a quantitative analysis
of the available data may permit a more robust examination of the 3 possible causes of fluc-
tuation (climate, density-dependence, over-harvest).

Hunting statistics of some form are available for most of the period from 1800 until 1982. As
there was no limit on the number of caribou that could be taken, they in theory represent a
fair reflection of population size. During the 19th century these numbers are given as num-
bers of caribou skins traded. Therefore an unknown number of caribou that were shot to pro-
vide for the hunters own consumption must be added to the total. During the 20th century
records are of the number of caribou reported as being shot. However, no statistics were col-
lected from 1982 until caribou were protected in 1993. This lack of data is a crucial problem
in reconstructing recent developments in population size, leading up to their protection in
1993.

During the 1970’s there was a widespread feeling that caribou numbers were in decline, fol-
lowing a peak in the late 1960’s. A figure of 100,000 was placed on this peak (Strandgaard et


                                                                                             13
Table 4. Summary of aircraft surveys for reindeer. Estimates in inverted commas are likely unreliable estimates
resulting from incomplete coverage of the areas. Bold text refers to regional totals. Shaded columns represent
surveys conducted using strip-transect methods, while unshaded columns refer to simple counts of the numbers
seen. In some cases these counts have been extrapolated to a best guess “guesstimate” of population size. W =
Winter; J = June; S = September; N = November.

Main area Sub-area              1996     1995    1995     1994    1994     1993    1990     1987   1987   1986   1985   1983   1982      1980     1978    1977
                                 W        S       W        S       W        W       W        S       J     N      N      N      W         W        W       W

Naternaq                                           271               80                                                                            100    100

North       Area A              7,089            3,770    5,137   5,868    2,799   5,136
            Area B              1,103            1,391            1,136      380
            Angujaartorfiup              1,286
            Nunaa               1,937              531              541     506      493    479    923    534
            Qaqqatoqaq            145              222               79     103      557
            Sisimiut south        595              282              103
            Sum                 10,869           6,196            7,727    3,788   8,874                                       5,300     3,000    10,700 17,900

Central     Maniitsoq           1,433            1,706              844    1,163   1,055
            Akia                2,890            2,575              775    1,425   2,386
            Ujarassuit Nunaat
                                2,483            2,127    1,493   1,461      918   2,714
            Sum                 6,806            6,408            3,080    3,506   6,155                                       6,700    ”2,000”   4,100   5,300

South       Uttoqqarmiut        4,458            4,046            1,385    1,160   1,504                         2,216 2,089   1,500
            Qeqertarsuatsiaat                      507               73      181     146                                         300
            Sum                 4,458+           4,553            1,458    1,341   1,650                                       1,800    ”350”

Paamiut                                            407              181                                                                 ”150”

West
Greenland Sum                   22,000           18,000           13,000   9,000   17,000                                      15,000    9,000    17,000 24,000

Method                           LT               LT               LT       LT       ?      TC     TC     TC     TC+    TC+      ?        ?         ?      ?
Reference                         1                1                1        1       2       5      5      5      4      4       3        3         3      3

+
 = not a total since Qeqertarsuatsiat has not been covered by aircraft survey this year
“ “ = guesstimate
LT = Line transect
TC = Total count
TC+ = Total count with guesstimate of number missed
References: 1 = GN unpublished data, 2 = Thing & Falk 1990, 3 = Strandgaard et al. 1982, 4 = Anon 1984, 5 = Aastrup et al. 1988


al. 1983, Meldgaard 1986), however there is no clear reasoning in the published reports as to
how this figure was obtained. There were no systematic surveys or attempts to survey the
population. Because of this decline, a series of aircraft based surveys were flown between
1977 and 1982 (Strandgaard et al. 1983). Each geographic area where caribou occurred was
searched, and the number of caribou seen was counted. These numbers were extrapolated
upwards to a total number, without any estimate of error. The results are presented in Table
4.

In 1983 and 1985, surveys were made of the area south of Ameralik/Lysefjord (correspon-
ding to the northern sub-unit of region south) from a helicopter. Numbers counted were ex-
trapolated upwards, but again the method used was unclear, and no statistical measure of
error was reported. In 1990, all of regions north, central and south were systematically sear-
ched from a helicopter. Caribou numbers counted in the strips flown were extrapolated up-
wards to total numbers, assuming that the areas searched were representative. An attempt
was made to stratify the count into upland and lowland habitats, but no statistical measure
of error was calculated (Thing & Falk 1990). Results are presented in Table 4.

These early censuses from 1977-90 are very hard to evaluate because there was no attempt to
estimate confidence intervals. A further problem, especially in the case of the 1977-82 censu-
ses, is that not enough details were reported to determine exactly what survey method, or
what extrapolation method, were used (Strandgaard et al. 1983, Thing & Falk 1990).


14
Between 1993 and 1996 a series of six surveys were flown in late winter (March-April) and
autumn (September). The four winter surveys covered the North, Central and South regions
each year, and Paamiut and Naternaq in two of the four years (GN unpublished data). The
two September surveys only covered sections of a few of the areas. The surveys were carried
out as a strip survey with the strip defined as being 700 m on either side of the aircraft. Sys-
tematic transects were flown over all habitats and total numbers estimated (Table 5). Confi-
dence intervals were calculated to express the variation between transect lines, but no at-
tempt was made to correct for caribou present within the strip that were not counted or over-
looked because of observer fatigue/inexperience and patchy snow distribution. Such factors
would result in all estimates being underestimates of true population size. These surveys
were the most systematic yet made for west Greenland caribou. The design was relatively
robust statistically, and the estimate is likely to be fairly accurate, although the most correct
manner to view the data would be as an index of population size. The errors intrinsic in such
methods even when they are as well designed and carried out as in this study can be seen in
Table 5. The counts indicate an overall rate of population increase from year to year (1993-96)
at a rate that is impossible biologically for caribou populations. As the early years reflect the
development of the methodology, and as coverage and transect density increased it is likely
that the early years produced even more severe underestimates than the later years.



Table 5. The most recent winter aircraft surveys of caribou herds in western Greenland. Numbers represent
means with 95% confidence limits. Note that these confidence limits express uncertainty due to variation in
animal distribution. They do not include variation due to animals being present within a survey strip that were
not counted.

Main area Sub-area                     1996                  1995                 1995                  1994                  1994                  1993
                                       April              September               April              September                April                 April

Naternaq                                                                         271 (94 – 783)                                80 (16 – 404)

North        Area A              7,089 (5,762 – 8,722)                     3,770 (3,262 – 4,357) 5,137 (3,242 – 8,140) 5,868 (3,847 – 8,952) 2,799 (1,805 – 4,340)
             Area B                1,103 (489 – 2,485)                       1,391 (763 – 2,533)                         1,136 (495 – 2,606)      380 (271 – 684)
             Angujaartorfiup     1,937 (1,534 – 2,446) 1,286 (633 – 2,611)      531 (330 – 853)                             541 (315 – 927)                    506
             Nunaa
             Qaqqatoqaq                145 (74 – 284)                            222 (73 – 674)                                79 (20 – 310)                  103
             Sisimiut south                       595                                       282                                          103
             Sum                               10,869                                     6,196                                       7,727                 3,788

Central      Maniitsoq             1,433 (828 – 2,478)                     1,706 (1,255 – 2,320)                           844 (501 – 1,422)   1,163 (702 – 1,604)
             Akia                2,890 (2,083 – 4,009)                       2,575 (901 – 7,358)                           775 (367 – 1,633)   1,425 (651 – 3,122)
             Ujarassuit Nunaat   2,483 (1,921 – 3,210)                     2,127 (1,387 – 3,261)   1,493 (821 – 2,714)   1,461 (978 – 2,181)     918 (570 – 1,477)
             Sum                                6,806                                     6,408                                       3,080                 3,506

South        Uttoqqarmiut        4,458 (3,020 – 6,580)                     4,046 (2,353 – 6,955)                         1,385 (712 – 2,695)   1,160 (566 – 2,379)
             Qeqertarsuatsiaat                                                 507 (225 – 1,143)                               73 (17 – 306)        181 (80 – 411)
             Sum                               4,458+                                     4,553                                       1,458                 1,341

Paamiut                                                                         407 (225 – 738)                               181 (62 – 525)

West      Total                                22,000                                    18,000                                       13,000                 9,000
Greenland                           (19,581 – 25,027)                         (14,761 – 21,558)                            (10,105 – 15,530)      (6,865 – 10,559)

+
    = not a total since Qeqertarsuatsiaq has not been covered by aircraft survey this year.




One potential problem in aerial surveys of caribou is that of accurately counting the animals
seen. This is especially true for large aggregations. The use of photographs is often necessary
to avoid undercounting (Heard 1989, Jordhøy et al. 1997, Thomas 1998). However, this
source of error is minimal under Greenlandic conditions because caribou are distributed in
small groups averaging 2-6 during winter (Roby & Thing 1985).


                                                                                                                                                             15
However, even when taking all these problems into account, aerial surveys do at least give
an indication of population size that is better than nothing as a starting point for manage-
ment purposes. If the very low estimates from 1993 (not complete coverage and first attempt)
and 1980 (incomplete coverage) are ignored, then caribou populations appear to have been
relatively “stable” for the last 20 years, with all estimates being between 13,000 and 24,000.
There is little evidence for any massive fluctuations in population size during this period on
a level with those documented by other authors for earlier periods (Vibe 1967, Meldgaard
1986).

2.5. Caribou population dynamics
2.5.1. The development of the climatic variation hypothesis
The first real research conducted on west Greenland caribou was based on a presentation of
hunting statistics from the 18th-20th centuries, and on scattered observations from personal
logbooks, journals and the archaeological record (Vibe 1967). The main thesis advanced by
Vibe was that it appeared that populations of caribou had fluctuated widely through the last
2 centuries, and that it was hypothesised that this was largely due to climatic fluctuations.
No statistical analysis of any data was performed. These same data from hunting statistics,
plus a more complete overview of zoo-archaeological finds, and more recent population sur-
veys, were presented by Meldgaard (1986, 1990). However, this time the fluctuations were
described as being “cyclic” with a period varying between 65 and 115 years (Meldgaard
1986). Again the hypothesis of climate mediated population fluctuations was presented with-
out any statistical analysis, although alternative hypotheses were presented. Despite the lack
of statistical analysis, the results and their interpretation have been largely unquestioned and
often cited uncritically. While the evidence for sporadic population fluctuations is convin-
cing, it is far from proven that climate stands behind them. Ferguson (1997) also pointed out
some inconsistencies in the scenario presented by Meldgaard and Vibe.

Forchhammer et al. (in press) performed the first statistical time-series analysis of the caribou
harvest data (1908-81) from western Greenland and found evidence for an affect of winter
weather (as measured by the NAO index) on population growth rate. However, in contrast
to the expectations of Vibe and Meldgaard, Forchhammer et al. found that population
growth was depressed by snow-poor winters rather than by snow-rich winters. In addition,
Forchhammer et al. found effects of density dependence (both positive and negative) on po-
pulation growth rate. While this analysis demonstrates that weather can influence caribou
population dynamics it does not explicitly identify climate as being the cause of the historic
massive fluctuations in population size.

2.5.2. Herd structure
There have been no systematic surveys of herd structure carried out on a regular basis. The
best data exist from the Kangerlussuaq area of region North where structure counts exist for
1977, 1978, 1979, 1983 and 1998. Two surveys exist from region South in 1984, 1985 and one
from region Central in 1998 (summary in Table 6). These surveys have been carried out at
different times of the year, by different observers, and through covering different portions of
the population’s ranges. Therefore, it is unclear as to how representative they really are
(McCullough 1993), because of potential biases with sex specific distribution typical of rein-
deer/caribou (Cameron & Whitten 1979, Jakimchuk et al. 1982, Skogland 1989). None have
been carried out at the optimal time of the rutting period in September-October when groups
tend to contain both males and females (Jordhøy et al. 1997). Despite these limitations, these
scattered results indicate that herd structure appears to be relatively similar to the harvested
herds of wild mountain reindeer in Norway (Jordhøy et al. 1997).


16
The proportion of calves as a proportion of the winter population has also been estimated in
a number of the aerial and ground surveys between 1977 and 1998 (Table 7), although there
has been no systematic program to collect regular data. Proportions are within the lower part
of the range of values previously observed for wild reindeer/caribou populations (Jordhøy
et al. 1997).

2.5.3. Body condition
Data on body condition of west Greenland caribou are available from four sources. Firstly,
an indirect measure is available from mandible length and age-specific tooth wear. Jawbone
collections are available from four sources:




Table 6. Population structure counts – West Greenland caribou 1977-98

Main area   Sub-area                                   Calf/100 cows    Calf         Cow (adult)     Yearling   2 year male   Adult male     n
                                                                       % total           %              %            %           %

North       Kangerlussuaq           July-August 1983        48           25              52                          6            16        1,364
            Kangerlussuaq           ”Winter” 1977           49           22              45            12           10            22        6,153
            Kangerlussuaq           ”Winter” 1978           33           17              52            10            8            20        2,851
            Kangerlussuaq           ”Winter” 1979           51           28              55            12            5             8        7,223
            Sisimiut                August 1982             40           16                                                                   103
            Angujaartorfiup Nunaa   June 1987                8            3              39             3           32            22           79
            Kangerlussuaq           March 1998              53           20              38             7           18            17          442

Central     Akia                    April 1998              81           26              32            12           22            8          579

South       Uttoqqarmiut            August 1982             50           23              47             1            8            21           77
            Uttoqqarmiut            August 1983             65           26              40            21            -            13        1,107
            Uttoqqarmiut            August 1984             52           22              42             5           10            18
            Uttoqqarmiut            August-
                                    September 1985          44           17              39             8            8            24




Table 7. Calf proportion in population from 1977-98 for west Greenland caribou

Main area              Sub-area                              1998         1996           1995         1990   1987             1987     1977-78
                                                             Late         Late           Late         Late Septem-            June      Late
                                                            winter       winter         winter       winter   ber                      winter

North                  Area A                                                 18.6            13.2      17.5
                       Area B                                                 16.7            12.4
                       Angujaartorfiup Nunaa                                   8.8             5.6      29.5         3.9        4.6
                       Qaqqatoqaq                                             25              22.6
                       Sisimiut south                                         15.7            19
                       Sum                                        20          17.3            13.2      23.7                               15.0

Central                Maniitsoq                                              20              17.7      22.2
                       Akia                                                   17.6                      22.2
                       Ujarassuit Nunaat                                      25.3                      26.8
                       Sum                                        26          21.3            17.7      25.3

South                  Uttoqqarmiut                                           16.2            14.5      21.9
                       Qeqertarsuatsiaat                                                      11.3
                       Sum                                                    16.2            13.8      21.9

Reference                                                          4             1              1           2            5        5           3

References: 1= GN unpublished data, 2 = Thing & Falk 1990, 3 = Thing 1982, 4 = Cuyler unpublished, 5 = Aastrup et al. 1988




                                                                                                                                              17
Archaeological sites. The material is relatively large and suitable for measuring mandible
length. Because tooth wear has often been used as an age determination method (e.g. Grøn-
now et al. 1983) it is not possible to calculate age-specific tooth-wear directly. However, it
should be possible to age the samples independently using sectioning of the incisor/molars.
Comparisons across these large time scales of 100’s to 1000’s of years could be of potential
interest to place the present situation into perspective.

Early Kangerlussuaq – Sisimiut studies. Jawbones from animals killed in the 1977-79 hunting
seasons, from animals found dead during the same period, and from hunting camps from
the previous decade were collected from region North. Mandible length has been published
(Holthe & Lassen 1984), but age-specific tooth wear has not. This period is especially interes-
ting given the proposed over-grazing hypothesis to explain decline in this region during the
1970’s.

1995 collection. All hunters were asked to submit the lower mandibles from animals killed
during the 1995 hunting season. As hunters were asked to avoid killing female caribou the
sample is very male biased. Jawbones were obtained from all regions, although quantitative
analysis was only possible for those from regions North, Central and South. Mandibles were
of equal length in all populations, although tooth wear was slightly higher in region North
(Loison et al. in press).

In the winter of 1996/97, a total of 100 female caribou were shot for studies of reproductive
parameters and body condition. Jawbones were also collected for determination of age and
tooth wear.

1999 collection. Hunters were asked to submit the lower mandibles from animals shot in
region North. At the time of writing this material has not yet been delivered.

Secondly, a direct measure of fat has been obtained from a sample of 100 female reindeer
shot in autumn 1996/winter 1997 (50 from region North and 50 from region Central). Ani-
mals were examined for fat deposits, age and pregnancy. Most animals had rump fat depo-
sits, with no obvious differences between the two regions in autumn. By late winter, the
rump fat was generally depleted from caribou in both regions, although individuals in re-
gion Central had more kidney and mesenteric fat (Cuyler unpublished data).

Thirdly, from 1996-98 hunters have provided an estimate of fat thickness on the rump of all
harvested caribou. Although no tests have been made of the accuracy with which the hunters
measure the fat thickness, the data appear to be consistent after being transformed to an in-
dex. Males were consistently reported as being fatter than females, as expected because the
rut has not yet begun during the hunting season and females have been nursing calves. In
addition animals from region North appeared to have a higher index than animals from the
other regions (Loison et al. in press). As rump fat has a degree of cultural value to Greenlan-
dic hunters, a standardisation of this method may be useful as a way of monitoring condition
in the future (see section 2.11.3.).

2.5.4. Reproduction and mortality
The only data available on reproduction is that cited under herd structure in section 6.2., and
the pregnancy rates of the animals shot in regions North and Central in 1997. Of these, be-
tween 74 and 88% of the females were carrying embryos.




18
Mortality rates have only been estimated from the 1995 jawbone collection material. Given
that the populations were probably growing during this period (section 2.4.) the estimated
mortality rates of 34% for males and 18% for females were probably an underestimates (Loi-
son et al. in press).

All potential predators of caribou, e.g. wolves (Canis lupus), wolverines (Gulo gulo), golden
eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) and brown bears (Ursus arctos), are absent from western Greenland.
This means that mortality from these sources, which can be significant in other populations
(Skogland 1991, Linnell et al. 1995), does not need to be considered in this context.

2.6. Caribou social organisation, movement and behaviour
There has been no detailed study of caribou social organisation in western Greenland. How-
ever, many studies have recorded the mean size of observed groups seen during aerial sur-
veys or other fieldwork (Table 8). The mean group size has consistently been less than 5 in
these studies, and there are very few reports of mass aggregations typical of this subspecies.
Although this represents an unusual form of grouping behaviour for Rangifer (Skogland
1989), it has parallels with other populations such as Peary caribou, Coats Island caribou and
Svalbard reindeer (Gates et al. 1986, Tyler 1989, Ferguson 1991).

The effects of this social system can also be seen in the movement patterns of satellite-colla-
red females. There was no co-ordinated movement between individuals within the same
area, and much individual variation in migration behaviour. In general, migration distances
were short (population means varied from 17 to 61 km) and some individuals were non-
migratory (Cuyler & Linnell unpublished). These results contradict the hypothesised move-
ment patterns of the caribou in region North as proposed by Thing (1984), although it is not
possible to determine if behaviour has changed or was incorrectly interpreted in the earlier
studies. The results do reveal that movement patterns are complex and variable, which
makes generalisation difficult.

Data on activity budgets is available from a number of studies (Roby 1980, Thing & Thing
1983, Thing 1984, Roby & Thing 1985, Bøving & Post 1997), although these have only been
carried out within region North (see section 2.7.).



Table 8. Studies which have reported group size data for caribou in western Greenland 1977-96.

Reference               Years     Region                            Season          Location in reference

Thing 1982              1977-79   North                             Whole year      Figs. 2, 3
Olesen et al. 1984      1983      North                             July/August     Fig. 6 (bias against small groups)
Roby & Thing 1985       1977-78   North                             Whole year      Tab 3
Anon 1983               1982      North                             August          Appendix 14
Anon 1983, 1984, 1986   1982-85   South                             June/August     Tab 4, 53 / Fig. 11, p 52 / Fig. 4.7 p 30
Aastrup et al. 1988     1987-88   North
Thing & Falk 1990       1990      North, Central, South             March – April   Tab 5
Bøving & Post 1997      1993      North                             June
GN unpublished data     1994      North & South                     April           Tabs 17-24
GN unpublished data     1994      North & Central                   September       Tabs 17-24
GN unpublished data     1995      North, Central, South & Paamiut   April           Tabs 17-24
GN unpublished data     1995      North                             September       Tabs 17-24
GN unpublished data     1996      North, Central & South            April           Tabs 17-24
GN unpublished data     1998      North & Central                   March/April     Unpublished




                                                                                                                         19
2.7. Caribou foraging ecology
The most detailed studies of caribou foraging have occurred within region North. Studies on
caribou habitat use and diet (Table 9) have been supported by various other studies of vege-
tation distribution, abundance and dynamics (Holt 1980, Rehder 1982, Holt 1983, Fredskild &
Holt 1993). From the other regions there has been far less data collection, apart from studies
of food plants found in snow-craters, which caribou have dug, and some rumen sampling.
These studies have managed to establish a broad picture of caribou diet and habitat selec-
tion, but there is still much work required. Of especial interest is the possibility for exami-
ning variation in diet and habitat selection between the different regions, and its consequen-
ces. The recent development of satellite vegetation and snow maps for western Greenland
(Møller Lund unpublished, GN unpublished) opens the way for further studies. The inter-
action between muskoxen and caribou deserves further study, especially if the muskoxen
population in west Greenland continues to expand.

2.8. Use and harvest of caribou
The earliest records of harvest are those of numbers of caribou skins traded to the Royal Da-
nish Trading Company trading stations along the coast from 1795 onwards. Hunting statis-
tics are available from 1908 up until 1982. During this latter period harvest appears to have
peaked in the 1970’s when up to 15,000 caribou were reported as being shot each year. By
1980 this had dropped to around 5,000. No data on harvest are available until 1993, when
caribou populations were protected for two years. An annual quota for an autumn harvest
has been issued each year since 1995. The total quotas for the entire west Greenland coast,
which includes the Nuussuaq peninsula, have been 2,000, 2,600, 3,111, 4,180 and 5,592 in
1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 respectively. The 1998 quota included 500, and the 1999 quo-
ta included 1,542 semi-domestic reindeer harvested from Godthåbsfjord. The autumn harvest
quotas excluding Nuussuaq and semi-domestic reindeer are shown in Table 10. Since 1995,
75% of the quota has been allocated to professional hunters (who make up 25% of the total of
hunters in 1998) and 25% to recreational hunters. There is no specification as to which age or
sex of caribou should be shot, and as a result harvest is traditionally heavily biased towards
males, with females making up less than 15% of the harvest in all years (Table 10). Since 1995
hunters have been asked to provide information on the date, location, and sex of killed cari-
bou with an approximate estimate of age and rump fat thickness. The quotas for 1995-98
were simply issued for west Greenland as a whole, which appears to have led to an uneven



Table 9. Overview of studies of activity pattern, habitat selection, diet and digestive physiology for Greenland
caribou.


Site                      Season     Activity    Habitat      Diet      Digestive   Competitors   Reference
                                     pattern    selection              physiology

Angujaartorfiup Nunaa     Autumn                             Rumen        Yes       Muskoxen      Staaland & Olesen 1992
Kangerlussuaq             Autumn                Vegetation   Rumen                                Holt 1980
                                                 transects
Kangerlussuaq             Summer     Visual                                                       Bøving & Post 1997
Region North              All year   Visual                                                       Roby 1980, Roby & Thing 1985
Region North              All year   Visual       Visual     Crater/                              Thing 1980, 1984
                                                             rumens
Angujaartorfiup Nunaa     All year                Visual     Crater/                Muskoxen      Olesen 1990, Olesen
                                                              rumen                               unpublished
Regions North, Central
& South                   Winter                             Crater                               Thing & Falk 1990
Regions North & Central   Winter                             Rumen                                Møller-Lund unpublished




20
Table 10. Proportion of females in the harvest, and number of animals reported by hunters according to regions,
and overall hunting quota. The number of unreported animals that are shot is unknown, but it seems unlikely
that the quota is not filled.


Region                      % females in the harvest
                       1995     1996       1997      1998

North                   5.2         8.2          7.4         6.0
Central                 5.6         7.2          6.5         5.3
South                   8.3        13.3         11.6         9.7
Paamiut                 8.7        22.5         13.0        18.2

Reported shot          1,314       1,995       2,472       2,966
Quota                  2,000       2,500       3,011       3,600




distribution of harvest (Table 11). However, for the 1999 hunting season, region specific quo-
tas were issued for the first time (Linnell et al. 1999).

To date there have been virtually no socio-economic studies focused on caribou hunters.
Most such studies have been focused on the marine mammal harvest because of the interna-
tional attention focused on these species (Kapel & Petersen 1982, Ward 1993, Lynge 1992,
Caulfield 1997), and on sea birds (Falk & Durinck 1992). This lack makes it difficult to put the
importance of the caribou harvest into its social context.

2.9. Caribou - the state of knowledge: an evaluation
Based on the above review it is possible to conclude that the state of knowledge for west
Greenland caribou is poor when compared to other Rangifer populations in Norway, Alaska
or Canada. There is a lack of both descriptive natural history data and of long term monito-
ring data. As a result the behaviour, ecology and dynamics of west Greenland caribou are
poorly understood. The history of caribou research in Greenland is one of a series of uncoor-
dinated short-term projects, few of which have been focused on collecting the data required
for better management of the harvest. The only period with any degree of co-ordination was
in the Kangerlussuaq – Sisimiut studies from 1977-93 (Table 3). The situation appears to have
improved since the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources came into existence, with a
reawakening of interest in caribou studies following an almost 10 year fallow period.

The result is that recommendations concerning the setting of harvest quotas are based on
very uncertain data (Linnell et al. 1999). The absence of a routine monitoring system further
extends the problem, as it will not be easy to interpret the effect of the last five years of quota
regulated harvest on population development. There is therefore a vital need for further re-
search to provide a more solid foundation for management related decisions. This research
must be co-ordinated and focused on the most important issues required to improve the qua-
lity of recommendations that can be provided to managers. The establishment of an effective
monitoring program will also allow knowledge to be obtained from the result of manage-
ment actions (learning by doing) as in an adaptive management set-up (Williams & Johnson
1995, Johnson 1999, Johnson & Williams 1999).




                                                                                                            21
Table 11. Relative distribution of the harvest with respect to the estimated population size in four geographic
units of west Greenland caribou.


Area                      Harvest 1997      Harvest 1996      Harvest 1995      Population 1996
                              (%)               (%)               (%)                (%)

North                           43                42                25                  48

Central                         26                20                43                  30

South                           23                31                29                  20

Paamiut                           7                 7                4                   2

Total                          100               100               100                 100



2.10. Possibility for data transfer
Caribou and wild reindeer populations have been intensively studied in Alaska, Canada and
Norway during the last 30 years – resulting in many examples of good knowledge-based
herd harvest management regimes (e.g. Thomas & Schaefer 1991, Urquart & Peters 1991).
However, the enormous variation in ecological conditions, and resulting dynamics, under
which Rangifer occur makes data transfer difficult (Heard 1990, Klein 1991, Schaefer & Mes-
sier 1991, Mallory & Hillis 1998, Reimers 1997). The absence of wolves in west Greenland
(Dawes et al. 1986, Bennike et al. 1994, Marquard-Petersen 1995), and the mountainous habi-
tats, mean that comparisons with Norwegian (Skogland 1990, 1994) mountain reindeer and
Svalbard reindeer may be more relevant than those from barren ground or tundra caribou
from Canada and Alaska. The only populations from the same sub-species (R.t. groenlandicus)
with which direct comparisons can be made are probably those on the predator-free Coats
and Southampton islands in Hudson Bay (Ouellet et al. 1996, 1997). Only as more knowledge
about west Greenland caribou becomes available will it be possible to determine which com-
parisons are most relevant.

2.11. Caribou research agenda
There is clearly a need for more research to decrease the uncertainty surrounding caribou
management in Greenland. This research can be grouped into three categories, monitoring,
general ecology, and hunter behaviour/sociobiology. Finally, in order to ensure that the
benefits of this research are optimised and extend over time there is a need for better proce-
dures surrounding reporting and co-ordination (see section 5). A detailed log frame frame-
work is in Appendix 1.

2.11.1. Monitoring
Managing harvest of a wildlife resource like caribou is usually based around a population
model, where parameters that determine population growth rate are entered, which allows
an acceptable harvest quota to be calculated. However, such a model is only as good as the
parameters that are entered into it, and as we have seen the knowledge concerning these
parameters is limited for west Greenland caribou. Therefore, the primary objective of a new
research agenda must be to improve the quality of the estimates of the parameters to which
the model is most sensitive. Based on knowledge of ungulate population dynamics in gene-
ral (Gaillard et al. 1998) it is reasonable to assume that the most important parameters to
measure are:


22
l   Population size/density/trend,
l   “Real” harvest number
l   Population structure,
l   Recruitment rates,
l   Condition of vegetation
l   Condition of caribou
l   Survival

As these parameters can be expected to vary in both space and time, repeated measures will
be required. The study of this variation forms the core of any monitoring program. The long-
term results will be a greater understanding of the relative impacts of hunter harvest, density
dependent and climatic factors on the dynamics of the different populations.

Because of the enormous areas over which caribou are distributed, it will not be economical-
ly feasible to intensively study all areas. Therefore, it will be necessary to operate at two spa-
tial scales. On an extensive level it will be necessary to obtain at least some degree of over-
view of the status and structure of caribou populations across their entire distribution. This
will require the use of aerial surveys, but due to high costs these will only be possible perio-
dically (e.g. every 3-5 years). On an intensive level some smaller study sites (e.g. one or two
within each main region) could be selected for annual monitoring. These study sites should
be chosen so that they are representative of the range of conditions found throughout cari-
bou range in Greenland.

Because of the enormity of the task in monitoring caribou populations over very large areas,
and the need to increase local-level understanding for caribou research and management it is
highly desirable to involve local people from each caribou area in the monitoring program. A
selection of local people from each area should be trained in the methods of making popula-
tion structure counts. Development of such a local contact network has proven to be central
to the success of the Norwegian wild reindeer monitoring program (Jordhøy et al. 1997)
which is arguably among the most intensive in the world.

2.11.2. General Ecology
Although the monitoring of the 5 parameters mentioned above are the most important,
further study of caribou ecology will allow better interpretation of observed patterns and
improve the ability of managers to predict caribou responses to changing circumstances.

Data on movement pattern is needed to define management units based on biological rather
than administrative borders. The use of both satellite and conventional radio-telemetry are
possible approaches, depending on the type and intensity of data collection required. Of par-
ticular interest would be data on the degree of exchange of animals between the areas north
and south of Søndre Strømfjord (between Angujaartorfiup Nunaa and Sisimiut – Kangerlus-
suaq) in region North, the northern part of region central (east of Maniitsoq) and between the
Uttoqqarmiut and Qeqertarsuatsiaat areas of region South. A habitat selection analysis
should be possible by combining the existing satellite telemetry data points with GIS vegeta-
tion maps.

The social organisation of Greenland caribou into small groups is relatively unusual among
Rangifer, found only among Svalbard reindeer, Peary caribou and caribou on predator free
islands, and has been very little studied (see Gates et al. 1986 for an exception). A clearer
understanding of social organisation would help in the interpretation of the movement data


                                                                                                23
and in evaluating the possible effects of the sex-skew in harvest. This topic may not justify a
specific study. Still, herd structure data collected from the intensive monitoring sites should
provide a good starting point.

The most important issues in general ecology that need to be addressed are:

l    Movement patterns,
l    Seasonal patterns of habitat selection,
l    Social organisation

2.11.3. Sociobiology
Recommendations for managing a harvest of a resource require knowledge of the socio-
economic importance of the resource and of hunter behaviour when exploiting this resource.
It is also an obvious benefit to utilise as much traditional ecological knowledge as possible
when attempting to understand the dynamics of the resource.

Given the lack of roads in Greenland, the ability of hunters to travel and access the caribou
populations is crucial to evaluate the potential of hunters to respond (functional response) to
changes in caribou population density. If hunters find it difficult to access portions of caribou
range far from the coast, it implies that inland areas operate as de facto reservoirs, which will
buffer against over-harvest. However, if hunters are able to easily access inland areas then
they have the potential to heavily harvest the caribou even if they decrease in density. Furt-
hermore, information on the ability of hunters to travel between hunting areas is needed to
determine the practical effects of issuing region specific quotas.

Only when socio-economic studies of caribou hunting have been made will it be possible to
evaluate the human-consequences of changes in harvest quota allocation. Such data will also
help managers develop clearer objectives for caribou harvest (see section 6.).

The potential of using hunters to help monitor the state of the caribou population needs to be
carefully investigated. Hunter-based indices have been successfully utilised for monitoring
moose populations in Scandinavia (Ericson & Wallin 1999, Solberg & Sæther 1999), and there
is a long tradition for Scandinavian hunters to supply information on harvested animals to
scientists (Jordhøy et al. 1996, Solberg et al. 1997, Langvatn 1997). The potential for a number
of such indices exists in Greenland. For example, hunter estimates of rump fat depth could
be an important indicator of body condition, and the number of days required to fill indivi-
dual quotas could form an index of population size. All these possibilities need to be investi-
gated and validated. Finally, the possible value of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) or
user knowledge should be evaluated (Ferguson & Messier 1997, Ferguson et al. 1998). Possi-
bilities beyond those mentioned above include studies of fine scale caribou distribution and
movement patterns, although the limited extent to which hunters are active in inland habi-
tats outside the caribou hunting season reduces the potential pool of knowledge.

Therefore the topics that are important to study are:

l    Hunter mobility
l    Economic/nutritional importance of caribou
l    Potential to use hunter observations in monitoring
l    TEK




24
2.11.4. Outstanding data-analysis
There is already a certain amount of data that has been gathered but still has not been pre-
sented in technical report or published paper format. Clearing this backlog must be given
high priority. Data include:

Age, sex, body condition and reproductive information from 100 female caribou shot
during winter 1997 in regions Central and North
Jawbones from harvested caribou were collected in 1995 for age determination and tooth
wear estimation. The potential for comparison with earlier collections (from the Sisimiut-
Kangerlussuaq studies in 1977-83) exists.
Hunter information (date, location, “age”, sex, fat depth) from the 1995-98 hunts needs to be
analysed and presented (Loison et al. in press).
Trading and harvest data from the period 1796 – 1982 exist. Although far from perfect data
these represent the best available information on the development and population dynamics
of the population during the last 2 centuries.
Structure counts were made for parts of regions Central and North in winter 1997.
Habitat selection is possible to analyse by combining the satellite telemetry data (1997-99)
obtained from 15 collared caribou in regions Central and North with the GIS vegetation and
snow maps generated during the last years.




                                                                                               25
3. Muskoxen

3.1. Phases of muskoxen research on Greenland
Because muskoxen suffered a massive reduction in distribution throughout Alaska and Ca-
nada in the 19th century (Tener 1965, Gunn 1990, Lent 1998), the surviving populations in
Greenland have attracted scientific attention throughout the 20th century. In addition, the
easy access of the introduced population in west Greenland (Angujaartorfiup Nunaa) near
Kangerlussuaq international airport has attracted many researchers over the years. There is
therefore a good deal of information, both published and unpublished, about Greenland
muskox. Table 12 details the various projects, which have been carried out during the last 40
years.

3.2. Muskox distribution
Muskoxen have a very different distribution in Greenland as compared to the present cari-
bou populations. Natural populations of muskox are only found in eastern and northern
Greenland, from Scoresbysund (70ºN) to Peary Land (83ºN) (Thing 1984, 1990, Boertmann &
Forchhammer 1992, Boertmann et al. 1992). Natural populations in the extreme north-west
(Inglefield Land, Washington Land and Hall Land) have been extinct since the late 1800’s.
Throughout most of this range, muskoxen are protected because they are within the North-
east Greenland National Park. However, a major concentration is found on Jameson Land,
which is outside the National Park. In this area muskoxen are legally harvested.

In 1962 and 1965 a total of 27 muskoxen (14 males and 13 females) were translocated from
eastern Greenland to Angujaartorfiup Nunaa (just south of Kangerlussuaq airport) in we-
stern Greenland (Roby 1978, Olesen 1993). This was the first time that muskoxen had ever
been found in western Greenland (Vibe 1967). These founders increased and are now found
in all suitable habitat between Kangerlussuaq airport, the inland ice and the Sukkertoppen
glacier. Individuals have recently started to expand their range north and west of the airport,
and there are reports of at least six having successfully penetrated the area south of Sukker-
toppen.

A series of further introductions have been made from Angujaartorfiup Nunaa to other areas
on the west coast. To date these are:

     (1) 1986 – 7 individuals released at Kap Atoll (Avanersuaq municipality).
     (2) 1986 – 6 individuals released at McCormick Fjord (Avanersuaq municipality).
     (3) 1986 – 14 individuals released in Inglefield Land (Avanersuaq municipality).
     (4) 1987 – 15 individuals released in Ivittuut municipality
     (5) 1991 – 31 individuals released at Svartenhuk (Border between Upernavik and
     Uummannaq Municipalities).
     (6) 1993 – 31 individuals released at Naternaq (Aasiaat municipality).

Four of the first 5 introductions (the exception being McCormick Fjord) appear to have
established reproductive populations. There is little information available on the fate of the
introduction to Naternaq (Table 13).

Harvest is currently only allowed in the Angujaartorfiup Nunaa and Ivittuut populations.




26
Table 12. Summary of the main periods of muskoxen research in Greenland


1960’s    Climatic variation hypothesis. Based on a review of reports from          Vibe 1967
          explorers, trappers and expeditions the history of muskox distribution in
          northeast Greenland is described and the catastrophic effect of periodic
          hard winters is described.

1985-88   Foraging dynamics of muskoxen in Peary Land. Diet, habitat selection         Klein & Bay 1990
          and activity patterns of muskoxen was studied in the far north of
          Greenland.

1986-97   Environmental impact assessment – Sarfartoq. In connection with a            Aastrup et al. 1988
          proposed mining development some basic data on population size,
          distribution and structure were collected.

1988-90   Muskoxen studies in Angujaartorfiup Nunaa. A field study of muskox           Olesen 1989, 1990 1991, 1993,
          population size, structure, diet, and habitat selection.                     Staaland & Olesen 1992

1980-90   Environmental impact assessment and monitoring in Jameson Land.              Klein & Thing 1989, Lassen 1984,
          During this 10 year period the population was annually monitored using       Thing 1985, 1986, Thing et al. 1982,
          aerial surveys. In addition structure counts were made annually. Other       1987, Thing & Lassen 1983,
          studies included habitat selection, diet, activity pattern and response to   Aastrup 1988, 1989, Aastrup &
          seismic exploration disturbance.                                             Mosbech in press.

1992      Analysis of Sirius patrol data from Northeast Greenland. The annual     Boertmann & Forchhammer 1992,
          index of muskoxen density from the Sirius patrol (1960-89) was analysed Forchhammer et al. in press,
          with respect to weather data,                                           Forchhammer & Boertmann 1993.

1992-93   Behavioural studies at Angujaartorfiup Nunaa. Activity pattern,              Forchhammer 1995, Forchhammer
          foraging dynamics and mating behaviour were studied.                         & Boomsma 1995, 1998

1994      Comparison of growth in Angujaartorfiup Nunaa and Jameson Land.              Olesen et al. 1994
          Growth was compared using body weights of captured animals and
          lower jaw-bone length.

1994      Habitat selection in Angujaartorfiup Nunaa. This study analysed              Nellemann 1997
          winter habitat selection by collecting pellet groups.

1998      Distribution and status of muskoxen in northeast Greenland. Many             Boertmann & Forchhammer 1992,
          chance observations and aerial surveys have been made that give a            Born et al. 1995, Ferns 1977,
          picture of the status of muskox populations north of Jameson Land.           Higgins 1989, Patterson 1984,
                                                                                       Sittler 1988, Aastrup unpublished

1993-96   Aerial surveys. A series of annual aerial surveys were made of the           Pedersen & Aastrup in press
          Angujaartorfiup Nunaa population using strip transect methods.

1997-     ZERO monitoring. Muskoxen are monitored each summer in the                   Rasch 1999
          vicinity of the Danish Polar Centre’s station at Zackenberg in northeast
          Greenland

1998-99   Filming in Angujaartorfiup Nunaa. A film crew have recorded                  GN, unpublished data
          observations of group size and composition during filming in 1998 and
          1999

1994-96   Peregrine Fund. In connection with monitoring of peregrine and gyr           The Peregrine Fund, unpublished
          falcons, this NGO has been keeping annual records of the numbers of          data
          muskoxen seen at Kap Atholl.

1996-98   Hunter reports. Approximate age, sex and location of kill have been          GN, unpublished data
          recorded by hunters in Angujaartorfiup Nunaa.




                                                                                                                        27
Table 13. Development of six muskox transplants (1986-99). Data is mainly based on chance observations.
Highest reported figure within a given year is given.


 Year       Kap Atoll        McCormick            Inglefield           Ivittuut          Svartenhuk    Naternaq
                               Fjord                Land
 1986         7 (2:5)            6 (2:4)           14 (4:10)
 1987                                                                  15 (5:10)

 1990                                                                     42
 1991         7 (2C)                                2 (-6 p)                              31 (10:21)
 1992                                                                                        (2C)
 1993          6 (C)                                                                                   31 (10:21)
 1994        20 (7C)                                  . 50                                               8 (p)
 1995        26 (7C)                                  . 50           .150 (-23 h)          36 (6C)
 1996        33 (8C)                                                   (-20 h)
 1997        47 (12C)                                  20              (-30 h)
 1998         (-14 c)                                                 180 (42C)              57
                                                                       (-20 h)
 1999                                                . 100                                   51         34 (6C)

(c) = culled
(C) = number of calves seen is given in parenthesis
(male:female) = original numbers and sex ratio of animals introduced are given in bold
h = hunt
p = poached




3.3. Muskox population development and censuses
No historical trading records or hunting statistics are available for muskoxen. This is because
muskoxen did not naturally occupy the west coast and there have been no resident humans
in north-east Greenland north of Jameson Land in historic times, and Jameson Land itself has
only been reoccupied by residents since 1925. Following this reoccupation, legal hunting was
kept at a very low level and does not reflect population development. However, based on a
summary of expedition accounts, Vibe (1967) presented evidence that indicates that musk-
oxen were less common in north-east Greenland during the 19th century than during the 20th
century.

Muskox populations have been relatively well studied in both Angujaartorfiup Nunaa and
Jameson Land. Data on population size are available for Angujaartorfiup Nunaa from 1986-
96 and for Jameson Land from 1982-90 (Tables 14 & 15). These censuses have been conducted
using a variety of methods; mainly total counts (route method) in the 1970’s and 1980’s, fol-
lowed by line transect methods in the 1990’s. This makes strict comparisons difficult. Al-
though the counts are fraught with statistical uncertainty because of the lack of confidence
intervals, muskoxen populations are also difficult to estimate using line transect methods.
Because they tend to occur in very discrete clumps (5-30 individuals), and occupy more spe-
cific habitats (valley bottoms) the result tends to be great variation between transect lines,
especially in the topographically complex regions that they presently occupy. As a result,
recent evaluations (Aastrup & Mosbech 1993, Aastrup unpublished, Pedersen & Aastrup
2000) recommend that formal transects be supplemented in steep-sided valley systems with
counts flown along the valley. Further developments and evaluations are needed to deter-
mine the most effective combination of methods suitable for monitoring.



28
Table 14. Population development of the introduced muskoxen population in Angujaartorfiup Nunaa, west
Greenland from introduction in 1962/65.


 Year      Month              Method          Total        Number         Estimate           95%               Reference
                                             number         seen in         total         confidence
                                              seen         Paradise                        intervals
                                                            Valley

 1962                                             13**
 1965                                             14**

 1977      April                Route           150                                                                1
 1979      March                Route           230                                                                1
 1982      March                Route         5-600                                                                5
 1985      September            Route           967                                                                1
 1986      November             Route           975           361           1,715*                                2, 4
 1987      June                 Route           575           506           1,556*                                2, 4
 1987      September            Route         1,261           432           2,379*                                2, 4
 1988      July                 Route         1,286           219           2,383*                                3, 4
 1990      August              Route          2,120           352           4,039*                                3, 4
 1993      April               Route                          191           2,524*                                 4
 1994      April               Route                           18           2,773*                                 4
 1994      April              Transect                         18           3,096         2,032-4,719              4
 1995      April              Transect                         78           3,210         2,050-5,027              4
 1995      May                Transect                        420           2,656         1,934-3,647              4
 1995      September          Transect                        479           2,132         1,382-3,290              4
 1996      April              Transect                        143           3,244         2,433-4,326              4

* Estimates based on adjusting the numbers seen in the original survey by the distance covered in the survey.
** The number of muskoxen introduced to the Angujaartorfiup Nunaa region.
References: 1. Unpublished data from Holte, Strandgaard, Roby, Thing & Vibe quoted in Olesen 1993. 2. Aastrup et al. 1988. 3.
Olesen 1990, 1993. 4. Pedersen & Aastrup 2000. 5. Thing et al. 1984.




Table 15. Population counts for 7 sub-populations of the muskox population in Jameson Land.

Year             Heden 1        Heden 2       Heden 3     Karstryggen   Colorado Dal   Ørsted Dal      Fleming         Total
Area            2,900 km2      1,800 km2     1,700 km2     500 km2       1,000 km2      900 km2       1,700 km2     10,500 km2

1982               2,121          278           253           306           938           193            148           4,237
1983               2,286           65             0           253           661           246              0           3,511
1985               2,841          158           115           401           863           301              0           4,679
1986               2,087          373           323           277           472           120              0           3,652
1987               1,764          249           190           145           461            62              0           2,871
1988               1,296          431           246           601           630            64             15           3,285
1989               2,011          288            15           503           871           240              0           3,928
1990               1,699          179           156           542            77           349              0           3,001

Average            2,269          386           201           393           598           211             2            4,060

References: Thing 1985, 1986, Thing et al. 1983, Thing & Lassen 1984, Aastrup & Mosbech in press.




                                                                                                                               29
Table 16. Population structure of the introduced muskoxen population in Angujaartorfiup Nunaa, west
Greenland from introduction in 1962/65.


Year     Month           n       Calf %           Calf:100    Calf:100   Yearling,     Yearling,     2 year,    2 year,      3 year,   3 year,    Reference
                                 of total        female>3    female>2      male         female        male      female        male      female

1977     July           151       26                                                                                                                      1
1987     June           161       30                83.9       76.9         8.5              8.5       5          3            9         36               3
1987     August         131       24.4              81.9       57.9         7.7              7.6      11.5       12.3         16.8       29.8             3
1988     March-April    408       21.8             130.5       98.6        10.8              6.7      11.3        5.4         27.5       16.7             2
1988     July-August    498       23.7             102.6       76.2        10.2              9.0       8.0        8.0         17.9       23.1             2
1988     October-
         November       562       23.8             100         79.9         9.4              8.9       8.7        6.0         19.2       23.8             2
1989     March-April    728       25.1             117.9       90.3         8.8              7.6       6.7        6.4         22.5       21.4             2
1989     July           252       25.4             121.0       96.9         9.1              9.6       9.1        5.2         20.7       21.0             2
1990     April          943       23.8             119.6       85.9         9.0              8.1      11.3        7.8         25.9       19.9             2
1990     August-
         September       373      21.2             102.9       78.5         9.4             10.2       9.2        6.4         21         20.6             2
1991*    April-May       278      11.9              65.0       43.6        10.5             10.5       8.3        9.0         31.3       18.3             2
1994**   April         1,752      16.6                                                                                                                    5
1994**   April           610      23.0                                                                                                                    5
1995**   April           628      20.2                                                                                                                    5
1995**   September       410      31.5                                                                                                                    5

1998     July-August    451       22                                                                   1.0a       0.5a         16a        22a             4
1998     August-
         September      535       29               110.3                                              13b        15b          17         26               4

* = calving was not finished at time of survey, and therefore calf percentage is underestimated.
** = counts based on aerial survey. These often underestimate calf fraction.
a
  = 38% of animals of yearling or older age were not sexed.
b
  = yearlings were not separated from 2 year olds.
References: 1. Roby 1978, 2. Olesen 1993, 3. Aastrup et al. 1988. 4. GN unpublished data collected by Canlo films, 5. Unpublished
file report from C. Pedersen 1995.




Table 17. Population structure of the muskox population in Jameson Land. Sub-adults include 2 year-old
females and 2-3 year-old males. Adult for females implies 3 years and greater and for males 4 years and greater.


Year             n      Calf      Calf:100 adult             Yearling         Sub-adult            Adult females          Adult males     Calf mortality
                       % total      females                     %                %                       %                    %                 %

1982         1,439      19.8                58                  12.3                 14.4                34.2                19.3
1983         1,370      20.4                63                  12.6                 10.4                32.3                24.2                  36
1984         1,277      12.9                41                  14.1                 13.9                31.6                27.6                  31
1986           314      23.5                49                   3.5                  5                  48                  20
1987           164      14.4                28                   8.3                  2.3                52.2                22.8                  62
1988           254      14                  28                   5                    5                  50                  26                    65
1989           220      27.9                67                  6.6                   1.1                41.5                22.9                  53
1990           301      14.6                39                  14.0                  5.6                37.9                27.6                  50

Average                 18.4                46.6                 9.6                  7.2                41                  23.8                  49.5

Reference: Aastrup & Mosbech in press.




The development of the Angujaartorfiup Nunaa population has been well summarised by
Olesen (1993) and Pedersen & Aastrup (2000). Since introduction in 1962-65 the population
expanded very rapidly, due to a high proportion of cows giving birth at their second birth-
day. By 1990 the population had reached about 2,500 animals. From the data presented in
Table 14 there is no evidence that population growth rate has decreased significantly, and
the population now probably lies between 3,000 and 4,000. The Jameson Land population
appears to have been more or less stable around 4,000 animals during the census period in
the 1980’s, and historical accounts indicate that this stability may have extended back
through most of the 20th century (Aastrup & Mosbech unpublished).


30
3.4. Muskox population dynamics
Based on population growth rate, individual body growth and reproductive parameters the
Angujaartorfiup Nunaa population appears to be highly productive and is typical of recently
introduced muskox populations in prime habitat (Jingfors & Klein 1982, Smith 1989, Olesen
et al. 1991, Olesen 1993, Reynolds 1998). In contrast the Jameson Land population is more
typical of high arctic muskox populations (Aastrup & Mosbech unpublished, Aastrup
unpublished) and is characterised by smaller body weights, later age at first reproduction,
and a lower calf percentage in winter population (Olesen et al. 1994).

3.4.1. Herd structure
Good information on herd structure is available for different periods for the two populations.
The Angujaartorfiup Nunaa population’s structure was well documented from 1987-90 and
the Jameson Land population’s structure was more or less annually monitored from 1982-90.
These provide good background data for modelling of population growth rate and to detect
changes over time. Existing data is summarised in Tables 16 and 17. Because of the fact that
muskoxen tend to form mixed sex herds, these data suffer far fewer of the biases, which may
occur in the caribou data. Inter-observer compatibility has not been verified, and there may
therefore be problems with the separation of some age classes, especially 2-3 year old fe-
males. The calf composition counts from the mid-1990’s may be underestimates because cal-
ves may be hard to see if muskoxen form defensive rings in response to aircraft. It is there-
fore highly desirable that counts should be made from the ground.

3.4.2. Body composition
Data on body weight and jawbone length has been collected from animals live captured,
shot, and those found dead in both Angujaartorfiup Nunaa and Jameson Land during the
1980’s (Thing & Lassen 1983, Clausen et al. 1984, Olesen et al. 1994). This data should pro-
vide an effective baseline for future comparisons. The fact that both populations are hunted
should allow similar data to be collected in the future.

3.4.3. Reproduction and mortality
Beyond the information available in the census and structure count tables, a life table has
been constructed for Jameson Land based on 364 animals found dead between 1977-84
(Thing 1985). From 1982-83 a total of 491 muskoxen were ear-tagged in Jameson Land (Clau-
sen et al. 1984). The tags on animals shot by hunters have been collected and the potential
exists for a mark-recapture analysis (Aastrup unpublished).

As brown bears are absent from Greenland, the only potential predator of muskoxen in
eastern Greenland is the polar wolf which has re-colonised most of the north-east coast in
recent decades (Dawes et al. 1986, Marquard-Petersen 1995) and is found at very low num-
bers in Jameson Land. No potential predators of muskoxen are found on the west coast. As
yet the magnitude of predation by these wolves is unknown.

3.4.4. Dynamics
The only other study of muskox population dynamics from Greenland comes from the high
arctic populations of north-east Greenland, which lie to the north of the Jameson Land popu-
lations. Apart from sporadic reports resulting from expeditions, the military Sirius patrol has
kept a log of the number of muskox seen during its patrol activity. This has been used as an
index of population abundance. Analysis has shown that there is a negative effect on the po-
pulation, during snow rich winters or winters with icing (Forchhammer & Boertmann 1993,
Forchhammer et al. in press).


                                                                                             31
The Danish Polar Centre has included monitoring of a local muskox population in its activi-
ties at Zackenberg (74ºN) in Northeast Greenland. This work should be continued as it could
with time provide a unique time series for muskox population dynamics (Meltofte & Thing
1997, Meltofte & Rasch 1998, Rasch 1999). Similarly, the Peregrine Fund (an American based
NGO) has been conducting regular bird surveys near Kap Atholl. The numbers of muskoxen
seen has been recorded over several years. Similar data should be collected in the future by
any such organisations that are conducting fieldwork in appropriate areas.

3.5. Muskox social organisation, movement and behaviour
A good deal of data on social organisation and activity pattern exists from both the Angu-
jaartorfiup Nunaa and Jameson Land populations. All aerial surveys have recorded group
size of the animals counted which when combined forms a considerable body of data. In ad-
dition, the raw data that has been used to calculate population structure has the potential to
be analysed for group composition if it was made available. Data on individual movements
are lacking apart from two individuals that were equipped with satellite collars in Peary
Land in the 1980’s (Klein & Bay 1990). Whatever could have been potentially obtained from
the ear-tagging studies in both populations has never been analysed.

3.6. Muskoxen foraging ecology
As for most other aspects of ecology, muskoxen foraging ecology has been far better studied
than for caribou (see section 2.7.). Detailed studies of diet and habitat selection exist not only
from Jameson Land and Angujaartorfiup Nunaa, but also for several of the high arctic areas
in Peary Land (Table 18). The combined result is that patterns of diet and habitat selection,
and activity pattern are well documented for muskoxen. This knowledge provides a good
understanding about the general ecology of these populations and a platform for future hy-
pothesis testing. The recent development of satellite vegetation and snow maps for western
Greenland (Møller Lund unpublished, GN unpublished) opens the way for further studies.
The interaction between muskoxen and caribou deserves further study, especially if the
muskoxen population in west Greenland continues to expand.

3.7. Use and harvest of muskox
Annual harvest quotas have been set for the Angujaartorfiup Nunaa population since 1988.
In addition a number of animals have been removed for trans-location to form new popula-



Table 18. Overview of studies of activity pattern, habitat selection, diet and digestive physiology for Greenland
muskoxen.


Site                    Season     Activity pattern          Habitat         Diet           Digestive    Competitors   Reference
                                                             selection                      physiology

Nansen Land             All year                             Pellet groups   Faeces                      Hares/        Klein & Bay 1994
                                                                                                         Lemmings
Kap København & Blåsø   All year                                             Faeces                      Hares/        Klein & Bay 1991
                                                                                                         Lemmings/
                                                                                                         Ptarmigan
Kap København           All year   Visual/satellite-collar   Visual          Faeces                                    Klein & Bay 1990
Angujaartorfiup Nunaa   All year                             Pellet groups                                             Nellemann 1997
Angujaartorfiup Nunaa   All year   Visual                    Visual          Visual                                    Forchhammer & Boomsma
                                                                                                                       1995
Angujaartorfiup Nunaa   Autumn                                               Rumen          Yes          Caribou       Staaland & Olesen 1992
Angujaartorfiup Nunaa   All year                             Visual          Crater/rumen                Caribou       Olesen 1990, Olesen
                                                                                                                       unpublished
Jameson Land            All year   Visual                    Visual          Rumen/faeces                              Thing et al. 1987




32
Table 19. Annual harvest quotas, numbers shot, and numbers of muskoxen translocated from the
Angujaartorfiup Nunaa population in west Greenland.


Year                          Quota                                    Harvest                 Translocation
           Summer    Winter   Trophy    Cull    Total    Summer     Winter     Trophy   Cull
1986                                                                                                27
1987                                                                                                15
1988         200                                  200       ?
1989         300                                  300       ?
1990         400                                  400       ?
1991         600                                  600      400                                      31
1992         635                                  641      440
1993         600                 6       50       690      565                    6       54        31
1994         525      100       35      200       860      470         74        35      190
1995         382      182       35                599      240        182        30
1996         300      182       35                518       ?          ?         30
1997         300      200       40                540       ?          ?         30
1998         300      200       80                580       ?          ?         39
1999         600      500       80              1,180       ?          ?         ?




tions (Clausen et al. 1989, Clausen 1993)(Table 19). Four types of hunt have been carried out
during this period, a late summer hunt, a winter hunt, and a trophy hunt for non-residents,
and occasionally a government sponsored winter cull. The maximum permissible kill has
rapidly risen from 200 to over 1,100 during the first 11 years of harvest. Information on the
exact number killed is rather vague, but in most cases appears to be slightly under the quota.
Given the poor access to the Angujaartorfiup Nunaa area, (no roads, sea access on only one
side, no resident human population) and the weight of a muskoxen, it is likely that there are
practical difficulties involved in some years. Since 1994, a limited percentage (around 15%) of
the summer harvest has been open for recreational hunters.

After the resettlement of Ittoqqortoormiut (Scoresbysund) in 1925, muskoxen were in prin-
ciple protected up until 1958. However, poaching was a regular occurrence, and some limi-
ted harvest was allowed in “cases of emergency” if the seal harvest was poor. Estimates of
animals killed were in the region of 40-50 per year (Sandell & Sandell 1998). From 1958, two
communal hunts were allowed each year. During this period 1 muskox per 15 inhabitants
(for a total of 20-50 per year) was allowed. These communal hunts were replaced in 1988 by
individual licensed hunts, and from 1995 some recreational hunters were allowed to take
part (Sandell & Sandell 1998). Annual quotas from 1995-99 have been 250, although there has
been virtually no reporting of numbers actually taken (Grønlands Statistik 1999). The quota
is not generally specified to age or sex of animal to be killed, (apart from the trophy hunt that
is aimed at old males). Hunters have been asked to return information on estimated age, sex
and location of kill.

As for caribou there have been no socio-economic studies of muskox harvest on the west
coast, although there have been some ethno-archaeology studies of the Jameson Land hun-
ters (Sandell & Sandell 1991, 1998).

3.8. Muskoxen – the state of knowledge an evaluation
Based on the above summary, the state of knowledge for both the Angujaartorfiup Nunaa
and Jameson Land populations is among the best existing for any muskox populations. Both
populations have been subject to multi-year studies of population structure, population size,



                                                                                                         33
reproductive rates, habitat use and activity patterns. Therefore there is a reasonable basis of
knowledge on which to base management decisions, and a good platform for further work.
However, there are some aspects, which still need to be studied, and more importantly a
regular monitoring program needs to be put in place, which can ensure that present harvest
levels are sustainable. There is concern that the population in Angujaartorfiup Nunaa may
soon be approaching a level where density dependent effects begin to operate. In addition, as
Jameson Land has not been censused since 1990, there is a need to determine the status of the
population after 10 years of high hunting quotas and the possible presence of wolves.

3.9. Possibility for data transfer
Comparative data exist for both the high arctic populations in Canada (comparable to Jame-
son Land) and the more highly productive introduced herds in Alaska and Quebec (compa-
rable to Angujaartorfiup Nunaa) (Jingfors & Klein 1982, Hénaff & Crete 1989, Smith 1989,
Nagy et al. 1996, Reynolds 1998). Throughout their range, muskoxen appear to show less
variation in their population dynamics than reindeer/caribou populations, although there
are still many uncertainties. While most studies agree that periodic hard winters with heavy
snowfall and/or icing can cause population crashes (Forchhammer & Boertmann 1993, Gunn
1998) the intensity of density dependence is still unclear (Gunn et al. 1991, Nagy et al. 1996).

3.10. Muskox research agenda
Similar to caribou, there is a need for further research on Greenland muskoxen to increase
the knowledge base for producing advice for management. Although this is not so acute as
for caribou, it should be possible to combine data collection for both species, at least in west
Greenland. Potential research areas can also be divided into the 3 categories of monitoring,
general ecology and hunter sociobiology. A detailed log frame framework is presented in
Appendix 1.

3.10.1. Monitoring
Establishing regular monitoring of both population size and structure must have the highest
priority. This will not only ensure that harvest levels are sustainable, but will contribute to a
better understanding of the dynamics of muskoxen populations. The existing data are suffi-
cient to construct a sensible model of population growth for muskox in both populations;
however, the density dependent and climatic factors that cause year-to-year variation in
these parameters are unclear. Regular monitoring will allow the collection of data relevant to
answer these questions. Similar to caribou, muskox monitoring should centre on 5 aspects:

     (1) Population size/density/trends
     (2) Population structure
     (3) Recruitment rates
     (4) Condition of vegetation
     (5) Condition of the muskoxen


A set up similar to that envisaged for caribou should also work for the muskoxen, where
periodic overviews of the total population using aerial surveys (Pedersen & Aastrup 2000)
are supplemented with more regular surveys of intensive study areas.

3.10.2. General Ecology
The major information that is lacking concerning the general ecology of muskoxen concerns
movement pattern. Data on individual home range sizes, seasonal migrations, and dispersal



34
are totally lacking which makes the definition of management units and the planning of
monitoring difficult. Based on other studies it is generally felt that muskoxen move far less
than caribou (Smith 1989, Reynolds 1989, Gunn 1990), although there are differences between
populations (Gunn pers. comm.). Important exceptions are the long dispersal/excursion
movements made by bulls (Smith 1989). As there are constant reports of both all-bull and
mixed-sexed herds north of the main population in Angujaartorfiup Nunaa, some effort
should be made to determine their approximate number and distribution.

Given the existence of trophy hunting for adult males in Angujaartorfiup Nunaa it would be
desirable to study the potential effects of a skewed population sex ratio on muskox social
organisation.

3.10.3. Sociobiology
Although muskoxen have a much smaller distribution that caribou, and are therefore poten-
tially less accessible to many hunters, there is still a need to improve our understanding of
the sociobiology and socio-economics of muskoxen harvest. This is especially true in terms of
finding ways for hunters to assist in monitoring the status and condition of the population.
All the topics outlined for caribou (section 2.11.3.) are also relevant for muskoxen.

3.10.4. Outstanding data analysis
Data still exist in various stages of analysis for the Jameson Land population. These are cur-
rently being analysed and written up by Peter Aastrup, Danish National Environmental Re-
search Institute (DMU). Of particular importance is the 10-year series of population estimates
and structure counts (1980-90) and the ear tag returns from the 400+ individuals that were
marked in the 1980’s (Clausen et al. 1984).

From Angujaartorfiup Nunaa, there is little unanalysed data, apart from the basic data retur-
ned by the hunters. For both populations there is data on social organisation and group com-
position, which has been collected in the course of making structure, counts. The quality,
location and accessibility of this data are however, unknown. Herd structure data for the
Kangerlussuaq area of Angujaartorfiup Nunaa from 1998 and 1999 are available.




                                                                                           35
4. Two species, different ecologies, similar research needs
Caribou and muskoxen are very different species with very different strategies for surviving
the arctic climate (Parker et al. 1990, Tyler & Blix 1990, Staaland & Olesen 1992, Klein 1992,
1996). Muskoxen take advantage of their larger body size and larger gut capacity to adopt a
strategy that maximises the rate at which they eat and process relatively poor quality forage
while also conserving energy use through adopting a sedentary life style. In contrast caribou
are forced to be more selective in their forage choice, and as a result are forced to adopt a
highly mobile lifestyle with associated higher energy expenditure. Despite these physiologi-
cal and ecological differences, and the different levels of knowledge concerning their ecology
in Greenland (sections 2.9. & 3.8.), the priority research needs are very similar for the two
species (sections 2.11. & 3.10.). For each species the research priorities are:

     (1) Population sizes and structure
     (2) Body condition and reproduction
     (3) Understanding the behaviour of hunters and the socio-economic context of the harvest.
     (4) The impact of grazing on vegetation.
     (4) Movement patterns using radio-collars.
     (5) Direct estimates of survival and reproduction based on radio-collared individuals.
     (6) Long term data on the temporal and spatial variation of the above factors.

This overlap is fortunate as it allows fieldwork to be co-ordinated. As well as being practical
this also results in comparable data being produced on each species, which allows further
comparisons of the manner in which these two species are adapted and respond to their
environment.




36
5. Reporting and co-ordination
Up until the mid-1990’s most research on Greenland caribou and muskoxen was carried out
by scientists and agencies based outside of Greenland (Thing & Clausen 1987). Only with the
creation of the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources in 1995 has there been any possi-
bility to establish some degree of continuity in the scientific work, which will be vital for the
success of a monitoring program. A consequence of the earlier set-up is that much data has
been virtually lost and that there has been no co-ordination of effort or overall planning.
Even with the presence of GN as an institute, there will be a certain turnover of scientific and
technical personnel. This requires that clear procedures are established and followed for the
reporting and storage of data as it is collected. Every field season’s data should be presented
in appendices at the back of annual reports with full descriptions of how, where, and when it
was collected.

Further co-ordination is needed between the work carried out through GN and that by other
institutes; the Greenland University, Danish Universities, The Institute of Eskimology at Co-
penhagen University, the Danish National Environmental Research Institute, the Danish Po-
lar Centre and other co-operating or potentially co-operating institutions in Scandinavia and
further afield. As well as co-ordinating activities in the field, and endeavouring to encourage
research, which fits within the overall strategy, copies of reports and the raw data (where
relevant) should be filed at GN. This is especially important for cases where students (that by
definition have a short tenure) are working in the field. On the other hand, the identification
of sub-projects suitable for student MSc and PhD theses within the fields of biology, ecology
and sociobiology should be identified, so as to avail of the significant human resource that
students represent.

Finally, there is a clear need to co-ordinate all caribou and muskoxen research and monito-
ring within an overall strategy to ensure optimal use of logistical platforms, and that the
maximum amount of data for research purposes are obtained.

As a first step, it is important to establish a timetable for this work. GN is currently running a
three-year project (1999-2001) to establish a monitoring network. Within this framework it is
recommended that during these three years the following broad goals should be reached:

   (1) Aerial surveys of the caribou and muskox populations are made at least once.
   (2) Annual surveys are made of smaller, intensive study areas.
   (2) Monitoring methods are established and validated.
   (3) Local involvement in monitoring is increased.
   (4) Improve the estimates of some of the important parameters in the population models.

This implies that 1999 should be used for planning, that large-scale aerial surveys should be
equally divided between 2000 and 2001, and that surveys of intensive study sites should be
conducted in both years.

This data should then bring both short-term benefits:

(1) Up to date over-view of the status of wild ungulate populations (last survey of muskoxen
and caribou in west Greenland was 1996, and 1990 for muskoxen in Jameson Land).




                                                                                               37
     (2) Improved estimates of parameters for models
     (3) Evaluation of 1995-99 caribou quota harvest is possible

and long-term benefits:

     (1) Foundation laid for comparative surveys in the future, which are vital for monitoring
     and to increase our understanding of the dynamics of these populations.
     (2) A strategy now exists for research, which should optimise use of resources.

Further details of planning and timetables are found in the appendices.




38
6. Recommendations required from research are dependent on
management context
A research and monitoring agenda cannot be seen in isolation from the management situa-
tion. There have been many changes in caribou management during the last 10 years – with
changes from open hunting, through total protection, to the present form of quota regulated
harvest. These changes have led to unproductive conflicts between scientists (GN), managers
from the Department of Environment and Nature (DMN) and the Department for Industry
(DE) and users. Although research and management are separate political fields, they should
closely interact so that management can gain the maximum benefit from research. In addi-
tion this allows research to gain a better understanding of the resource’s dynamics by moni-
toring the effects of management actions (in this case the effect on the population that a gi-
ven hunting quota produces).

There are three areas in which management needs to develop, before research can produce
detailed advice for the management of the caribou populations.

6.1. Statement of objectives
Even with the best scientific data it is clearly impossible to give advice on how to achieve a
goal if that goal is not stated. Management therefore needs to clearly determine its objectives
for the west Greenland caribou populations and muskox populations on both coasts. Factors
such as population size, population distribution, acceptable levels of uncertainty, the degree
to which natural dynamics should be maintained, the degree to which harvest should be
maximised, and to whom quotas should be allocated, need to be considered.

6.2. Develop structures that can utilise knowledge
As better data on the dynamics of the populations becomes available it should be possible to
give more detailed advice as to how the caribou should be harvested to achieve population
goals. This will require that quotas are given to more specific areas, drawn up as biological
rather than administrative units, and that the age and sex of caribou shot can be specified. In
order to achieve this level of control of harvest there need to be management structures that
can allocate and enforce quotas at both central and local levels.

6.3. Increase hunter compliance
If anything is to be learned from monitoring the populations in the face of management ac-
tions, and if increasingly precise knowledge is to lead to improved management, there is a
need to increase hunter compliance with regulations. This includes quota compliance and the
requirement to report information from animals harvested.

There are many challenges ahead for both research and management of west Greenland cari-
bou, and indeed for all of Greenland’s natural resources as the 21st century approaches. Un-
like marine mammals, caribou lend themselves to solving these challenges. Firstly because of
practical reasons, since caribou stay within discrete geographical areas, making them metho-
dologically easier to work with. Secondly because of political reasons. There is not the enor-
mous international interest, which is linked to whale and seal management.




                                                                                             39
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48
Appendix 1. Network group for monitoring caribou and
muskoxen
Since the end of 1998 a network group for monitoring of caribou and muskoxen in Greenland
has been under development. The objective of this group is mainly to bring together various
experts to assist the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources (GN) in the development of a
monitoring program for caribou and muskoxen. In order to achieve this, the various mem-
bers of the group are meant to contribute their special skills to the various planning, field-
work, and analysis components of the program. Funding has initially been obtained for three
years (1999-2001) from GN, the Danish Arctic Environmental Program (MIKA), and the Nor-
wegian Institute for Nature Research. An application to Nordisk Råd in 1999 was not suc-
cessful, however attempts to secure additional outside funding will continue.

This monitoring program is expected to achieve two main goals during its first three years of
life.
(1) Collect field data that is needed to determine the state of the caribou and muskox resour-
ces and better understand the manner in which they are utilised.
(2) Integrate users into this process.
Hopefully, if these two goals are achieved, it should be possible to continue monitoring
changes from this baseline at lower intensity, with much greater user involvement in the
process.

During 1999 activity has concentrated on (1) assisting GN with caribou quota recommenda-
tions (Linnell et al. 1999), (2) reviewing the state of scientific knowledge for both species in
Greenland and making initial plans for a monitoring program and research agenda (this
document), and (3) the analysis of existing data concerning the movement of satellite-col-
lared caribou, the age/sex structure of the caribou harvest, and the reproductive status and
condition of caribou culled during winter 1996-97 (Cuyler & Linnell 1999, Loison et al. in
press, Cuyler et al. in prep.).

Preliminary work schedules for 2000 and 2001 are outlined in appendices 2-4. From 2000 a
full-time (or split part-time) position based in Nuuk will be created within the group. It is
also hoped to develop some co-operative contacts with scientists and managers working in
Nunavut and the Northwest Territories in Canada.

Network Group – core members from 1999
Arild Landa, Christine Cuyler, Pipaluk Møller-Lund & Kristjana G. Motzfeldt: GN
John D.C. Linnell: Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA)
Anne Loison: NINA and Norwegian Polar Institute (NP)

Network Group – peripheral members from 1999-10-04
Olav Strand, Per Jordhøy & Erling Solberg: NINA
Peter Aastrup: Danish National Environmental Research Institute (DMU)




                                                                                                49
Appendix 2.
A2.1. Log-frame for research/monitoring plan: caribou


Main topic         Sub-topic                     Required actions                          Progress
1. Monitoring      1.1. Area selection           1.1.1. Decide on a number of intensive 1.1.1. Shortlist for intensive regions (a) Paamiut, (b)
                                                 study areas.                           North, (c) Central, and (d) South.
                   1.2. Population size/trends   1.2.1. Estimate costs and alternatives    1.2.1. Aerial survey only practical method. Danish
                   and density.                  for aircraft                              Partenaria observer 2 unavailable. Investigate alternatives
                                                 1.2.2. Determine affordable frequency     such as Iceland or Canada: helicopter seems best for
                                                 of survey                                 population estimates based on results from surveys in N.A.
                                                 1.2.3. Make a timetable for area          1.2.2. Split survey effort equally between 2000 and 2001
                                                 coverage                                  so that all areas are covered once during the two years. In
                                                                                           2000 an aerial survey for distribution of caribou in Paamiut
                                                                                           during the rut. In 2001 an aerial survey for caribou
                                                                                           abundance in Paamiut.
                                                                                           1.2.3. See Appendix 3. After 2001 plan for total coverage
                                                                                           every 3-5 years.
                   1.3. Population structure     1.3.1. Evaluate practical alternatives    1.3.1. Snowmobile surveys during winter compared to the
                                                 for timing and methods for structure      alternative, helicopter surveys during winter and/or rut.
                                                 counts                                    1.3.2. Plan to cover all caribou regions during 2000-2001.
                                                 1.3.2. Make a timetable for intensive     Effort should cover both intensive and extensive areas,
                                                 and extensive areas                       with priority given to intensive areas if time is limited.
                                                 1.3.3. By sub-sampling data determine     1.3.3. Use data from first year (2000) plus existing data for
                                                 the power of the method to detect real    analysis of required sampling effort.
                                                 changes in structure.
                   1.4. Recruitment rates        1.4.1. Evaluate methods for               1.4.1. Calf: cow ratio from population structure counts
                                                 determining recruitment rates             (1.3) will provide data on recruitment.
                                                 1.4.2. Make a timetable for intensive     1.4.2. As for 1.3.2.
                                                 and extensive areas
                   1.5. Direct estimates of      1.5.1. Evaluate costs associated with     1.5.1. Radio-collaring/marking regarded as highly
                   survival and reproduction     marking/radio-collaring and follow up     desirable but outside the present budget
                                                 of individuals.
                   1.6. Vegetation               1.6.1. Determine placement of             1.6.1. Start with the areas of highest caribou density, and
                                                 vegetation monitoring plots and           combine with helicopter survey work from 1.3.1.
                                                 evaluate methods
                                                 1.6.2. Make a timetable for frequency
                                                 of control
                   1.7. Caribou condition        1.7.1. Evaluate methods for monitoring    1.7.1. In the long term: Continue to collect rump-fat data
                                                 condition (jawbone, rump fat, winter      from hunters. Periodic jawbone collections (once for every
                                                 cull).                                    4-5 years) from all regions. Winter cull of 25 caribou from
                                                 1.7.2. Make a timetable for area          region South desirable for comparison with previous
                                                 specific sampling.                        collection from North and Central. Further culls only
                                                 1.7.3. Investigate if jawbone material    during severe winters to access impact on condition.
                                                 from Holthe & Lassen (1984) is            1.7.2. 1999 jawbones from region North. 2000 jawbones
                                                 available.                                from regions Central, South and Paamiut. Winter cull in
                                                                                           region south during winter 2000-2001.
                                                                                           1.7.3. Enquiries being made.
                   1.8. Local contact network    1.8.1. Develop a list of contacts in each 1.8. Commercial hunters (KNAPK) and hunting officers
                                                 area.                                     will be included in monitoring work.
                                                 1.8.2. Hold courses on monitoring
                                                 methods
                                                 1.8.3. Integrate local contacts into
                                                 regular data collection time-table
2. General ecology 2.1. Movement patterns        2.1.1. Determine availability of aircraft 2.1.1. Decisions postponed because of lack of budget. Due
                                                 for aerial telemetry and evaluate if      to movements and lack of small aircraft satellite collars are
                                                 economic budget stretches to include      most realistic.
                                                 telemetry
                                                 2.1.2. Evaluate radio vs satellite
                                                 telemetry
                                                 2.1.3. Select study areas
                                                 2.1.4. Make a timetable for capture and
                                                 follow-up
                   2.2. Habitat selection        2.2.1. Determine who has GIS
                                                 competence to make analysis
                                                 2.2.2. Make a timetable for analysis
                                                 and writing
                                                                                                                                 Continue next page



50
Continued from page 49.
                  2.3. Social organisation     2.3.1. Evaluate if frequency of           2.3.1. Budget does not extend far enough to allow specific
                                               structure counting in intensive study     data collection for this topic.
                                               areas is enough.
                                               2.3.2. If need be, plan supplementary
                                               structure counts in intensive study
                                               areas
3. Sociobiology   3.1. Mobility                3.1.1. Determine if hunter return data    3.1.1. First analysis should be made using data provided by
                                               is accurate enough or if interviews are   hunters.
                                               required.
                                               3.1.2. If required plan and conduct
                                               interviews
                  3.2. Socio-economics         3.2.1. Evaluate information needs and     3.2.1. A first approach will be made to (a) determine the
                                               develop required interview procedures     relative importance of caribou to individual hunter’s bags,
                                                                                         and (b) to trace the fate of caribou killed (sold, traded, own
                                                                                         consumption).
                  3.3. Hunter observations     3.3.1. Develop sample protocol to         3.3.1. / 3.3.3. Rump fat and age estimation will be
                                               validate hunter estimate of rump fat      validated. The criteria used by hunters to determine age
                                               and age of animal shot                    will be studied
                                               3.3.2. Analyse existing data for          3.3.2. A question concerning number of days of hunting
                                               variability in time and distance          required to kill a caribou will be proposed to management
                                               required to kill caribou                  for inclusion on hunter report card.
                                               3.3.3. Validate hunter estimation of      3.3.4. Hunters and hunting officers will be included in
                                               age classes.                              teams making aerial surveys and winter structure counts.
                                               3.3.4. Increase hunter participation in
                                               monitoring program.
                  3.4. TEK                     3.4.1. Evaluate what relevant        3.4.1. Interviews needed in region Paamiut to determine
                                               information could be provided by TEK caribou distribution patterns to increase efficiency of aerial
                                                                                    surveys.




A2.2. Log-frame for research/monitoring plan: muskoxen

Main topic        Sub-topic                    Required actions                          Progress
1. Monitoring     1.1. Area selection          1.1.1. Decide on a number of intensive 1.1.1. Shortlist (a) Jameson Land in east Greenland, and
                                               study areas.                           (b) Angujaartorfiup Nunaa area of region North,
                                                                                      specifically the Kangerlussuaq area south of Ørkendalen
                                                                                      and Paradise Valley.
                   1.2. Population size/trends 1.2.1. Estimate costs and alternatives    1.2.1. Possibly aerial survey only practical method for
                  and densities                for aerial (aircraft/helicopter) or       statistical estimates, although ground-based counts should
                                               ground surveys.                           be evaluated.
                                               1.2.2. Determine affordable frequency     1.2.2. Angujaartorfiup Nunaa and Jameson Land should be
                                               of survey                                 covered at least once in next 2 years, thereafter every 3-5
                                               1.2.3. Make a timetable for area          years.
                                               coverage                                  1.2.3. Jameson Land in 2000, Angujaartorfiup Nunaa in
                                                                                         2001.
                  1.3. Population structure    1.3.1. Evaluate practical alternatives    1.3.1. Calf percentage and calf:total: Snowmobile winter
                                               for timing and methods for structure      structure counts in Angujaartorfiup Nunaa winter 2000 and
                                               counts                                    2001, and summer walking survey in Paradise Valley
                                               1.3.2. Make a timetable for intensive     2000. Helicopter survey for Jameson Land in April 2000.
                                               and extensive areas                       1.3.2. Data from 2000 and existing data will be analysed.
                                               1.3.3. By sub-sampling data determine
                                               the power of the method to detect real
                                               changes in structure.
                  1.4. Recruitment rates       1.4.1. Evaluate methods for               1.4.1. Data on calf:total ratio from 1.3 will be used.
                                               determining recruitment rates
                                               1.4.2. Make a timetable for intensive
                                               and extensive areas
                  1.5. Direct estimates of     1.5.1. Evaluate costs associated with     1.5. While highly desirable the present budget will not
                  survival and reproduction    marking/radio-collaring and follow up     cover radio collaring or marking. Possibility that some
                                               of individuals.                           animals are still ear-tagged from 1980’s.
                  1.6. Vegetation              1.6.1. Determine placement of
                                               vegetation monitoring plots and
                                               evaluate methods
                                               1.6.2. Make a timetable for frequency
                                               of control
                                                                                                                               Continue next page



                                                                                                                                                    51
Continued from page 50.
                   1.7. Muskox condition        1.7.1. Evaluate methods for monitoring   1.7.1. Use will be made of slaughter house to sample
                                                condition (jawbone, rump fat, winter     animals shot in winter hunt. Hunter reports will give fat
                                                cull).                                   depths.
                                                1.7.2. Make a timetable for area         1.7.2. Kangerlussuaq in 2000, Jameson Land in 2001.
                                                specific sampling.
                   1.8. Local contact network   1.8.1. Develop a list of contacts in each 1.8.1. Hunters and hunting officers will be included in
                                                area.                                     monitoring work.
                                                1.8.2. Hold courses on monitoring
                                                methods
                                                1.8.3. Integrate local contacts into
                                                regular data collection time-table
2. General ecology 2.1. Movement patterns       2.1.1. Determine availability of aircraft 2.1.1. Budget does not extent this far. Because of relative
                                                for aerial telemetry and evaluate if      stationary behaviour of muskoxen, radio-collars should be
                                                economic budget stretches to include      adequate.
                                                telemetry
                                                2.1.2 Evaluate radio vs satellite
                                                telemetry
                                                2.1.3 Select study areas
                                                2.1.4 Make a timetable for capture and
                                                follow-up
                   2.2. Social organisation     2.2.1. Evaluate if frequency of          2.2.1. Budget does not extend to special data collection.
                                                structure counting in intensive study
                                                areas is enough.
                                                2.2.2. Determine accessibility of
                                                existing data.
                                                2.2.3. If need be, plan supplementary
                                                structure counts in intensive study
                                                areas
3. Sociobiology    3.1. Mobility                3.1.1. Determine if hunter return data is 3.1.1. Awaiting data for evaluation.
                                                accurate enough or if interviews are
                                                required.
                                                3.1.2. If required plan and conduct
                                                interviews
                   3.2. Socio-economics         3.2.1. Evaluate information needs and    3.2.1. A first approach will be made to (a) determine the
                                                develop required interview procedures    relative importance of muskoxen to individual hunter’s
                                                                                         bags, and (b) to trace the fate of muskoxen killed (sold,
                                                                                         traded, own consumption).
                   3.3. Hunter observations     3.3.1. Develop and validate a method     3.3.1. See Appendix 3
                                                similar to caribou rump fat for
                                                muskoxen
                                                3.3.2. Validate hunter estimation of age
                                                classes.




52
Appendix 3. Work plans 2000-2001

Work plan for 2000

Aerial surveys                     Caribou: Regions North (Spring) & Paamiut (Autumn)
                                   Muskox: Jameson Land (Spring)
Aerial based structure counts      Caribou: Region North (Spring)
                                   Muskox: Jameson Land (Spring)
Snowmobile based structure
counts                            Caribou: Regions North & Central (Spring)
                                  Muskox: Kangerlussuaq (Spring)
Summer structure counts           Muskox: Kangerlussuaq (June-July)
Caribou jawbone collection        Process material from 1999 hunt from region North
                                  Collect material from 2000 hunt from regions Central,
                                  South and Paamiut.
Involve local hunters and hunting officers in aerial surveys and structure counts.

Interview Paamiut hunters to increase efficiency of aerial surveys in the region.

Establish vegetation monitoring (Summer)



Work plan for 2001

Details will await progress from 2000.

Overview of expected outputs from the five years 1998-2002

l   MIKA report – movements of satellite collared caribou in regions North and Central
        - vegetation map of regions North, Central and South
        - disturbance studies in regions North and Central
        - map of snow cover for regions North, Central and South

l   Up to date aerial surveys of caribou (regions North, Central, South and Paamiut) and
    muskox populations (Angujaartorfiup Nunaa and Jameson Land)

l   Two structure counts for all caribou, and four counts of Angujaartorfiup Nunaa muskox,
    populations

l   Caribou jawbone collections from all regions to compare with 1995 collection

l   Caribou condition/reproduction data from regions North, Central and South

l   Muskox condition/reproduction data from Kangerlussuaq and Jameson Land

l   Enhanced local and user involvement in monitoring

l   Socio-ecological data on importance of ungulate harvest and hunter use of resource




                                                                                           53
l    Baseline established for monitoring of vegetation

l    Rumen analysis for caribou in regions North, Central and South.

l    Snapshot of state of the resources, better estimates of reproductive parameters, and
     baseline established for monitoring of future changes.

Priority research for the future

l    Radio-collaring of muskoxen (movements, direct estimates of survival, individual
     reproductive rate data)

l    Satellite-collaring of caribou (movements, direct estimates of survival, individual
     reproductive rate data)

l    Muskox/caribou food competition study

l    Combine the movement data from satellite collared caribou with vegetation maps for
     resource selection study

l    Continue monitoring to estimate spatial and temporal variability in population
     parameters

l    Studies of social organisation of both caribou and muskoxen




54
Appendix 4. Summary of work plan 2000-2001

Monitoring of caribou and muskoxen: integrating users into the
collection of data on the status, development and use of wildlife
resources.

Biological component
The main objective of this section is to increase our understanding of the status of caribou
and muskoxen populations. This data will lead to immediate improvements in our ability to
provide recommendations for hunting quotas and provide a baseline for monitoring future
changes.

More specifically:

  (1) Structure counts: Using snowmobiles, the distribution area of caribou and muskoxen
  in west Greenland will be surveyed, and the age/sex structure of muskoxen and caribou
  seen will be recorded. This data will contribute to an understanding of the herd structure
  and provide an estimate of recruitment rates. For muskoxen at Kangerlussuaq, the winter
  snowmobile-based survey will be supplemented with a summer survey on foot of
  selected sub-populations.

  (2) Aerial surveys: Using modifications of the strip-transect methods developed from
  1993-96 all caribou and muskox populations will be re-surveyed (half in 2000 and half in
  2001).

  (3) Jawbone collections: Jawbones collected from caribou in Kangerlussuaq in 1999 will
  be analysed and collections will be made in other regions. The main objective is to
  compare mandible size and age-specific tooth wear to the data collected in 1995.

  (4) Muskoxen condition/reproduction: We shall take advantage of a slaughterhouse that
  will operate at Kangerlussuaq in February 2000 (and hopefully Jameson Land in 2001) to
  collect biological data on muskoxen body condition, reproduction and age/sex structure
  of the harvested animals. This data can be compared to similar data collected in the
  1980’s.

  (5) Caribou condition/reproduction: In order to complement data collected from 100
  caribou culled in Kangerlussuaq and Akia in winter 1997-98 we shall try and collect 50
  individuals from Buksefjord during winter 2000-2001.

  (6) Vegetation monitoring plots will be established, and baseline data collected.

User component
The overall goals are to collect better data on the manner in which users are using the resour-
ces, and to incorporate users in the monitoring of the state of the resources.

This section has three main sub-goals:




                                                                                            55
     (1) Validate the data being provided by hunters on age, sex and condition of animals
     killed
     (2) Involve users in the collection of population monitoring data
     (3) Put the harvest of caribou and muskoxen into a social and economic perspective

More specifically:

     (1) By comparing the geographical distribution of the resources in relation to the distri-
     bution of users (recreational hunters/professional hunters) it is possible to visualise the
     potential impact that users can have on the resource, and to identify the level of regula-
     tion with which it is necessary to manage the resources. Data exist from aerial surveys of
     caribou and muskoxen and Grønlands Statistik.

     (2) Mobility of hunters is important to determine the potential impact they can have on
     the ungulates. Of especial importance is the distance they can travel away from the coast
     to reach the inland populations. If hunters have difficulty in reaching inland areas it
     implies that de facto reserves exist which will buffer the populations against the risk of
     over-harvest. If they can reach these areas it implies that they have the potential to in-
     crease their search area in response to a population decline. This form of information is
     vital to determine the level of regulation with which the resource needs to be managed.
     Data exist from the report cards that hunters return every year.

     (3) In order to evaluate the consequence of changes in hunting quotas or the distribution
     of quotas it is necessary to place muskox and caribou kills in context against other prey
     species. Two types of information are important here, firstly the relative contribution that
     caribou and muskoxen make to each hunters annual bag and secondly the fate of each kill
     (private use/trade/exchange/market/KNI). Data will be collected from hunter report
     cards and through interviews/surveys. Of central interest is the comparison between
     professional and recreational hunters.

     (4) Incorporating hunters into a monitoring program is a necessary step to effectively
     monitor ungulate populations over large areas and to build greater trust and understan-
     ding between users and scientists. It is also necessary to validate the quality of the infor-
     mation that they provide each year on their report cards. In this context the following
     approaches will be taken;
     l determine the criteria used by hunters in estimating age of their kill

     l compare hunter estimates of age with real age (muskox and caribou)

     l compare hunter estimates of condition (rump fat for caribou) with real measurement

     l develop a comparable index for muskoxen

     l include users in all aspects of population monitoring including population structure

     l and aerial surveys

     l develop a user based index of effort required to make each kill as an independent

        measure of population density.

In addition hunters will be interviewed in Paamiut to help develop better survey methods
suitable for the rugged terrain in the region.




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