shared with permission from Melvin Andrew in Manakotak
Comments from LEO Editors:
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, muskox (Ovibos moschatus) can usually be found along northern parts of the coast, around the Seward Peninsula, the Delta coast, as well as Nunivak and Nelson Islands. During the August and October mating season, harem groups of muskox will form with 5-15 female and sub-adults along with one dominant bull who will keep others away from the group. Bulls that are not part of these groups can wander widely before the herds rejoin in the winter.
Back in 2017, we heard from Patricia Yaska that a muskox had wandered close to Chuathbaluk. It was the farthest that one had been seen up the Kuskokwim river. This year on August 14th, the Togiak Wildlife Refuge posted on their Facebook page that a muskox was recently seen within the refuge boundaries. We have shared this post with them as well.
Muskox have an interesting history in Alaska. They are native to the state, but populations were wiped out in the 1920's. Between 1935-36, 34 muskox were captured in Greenland and released on Nunivak Island. The herd grew, and were eventually re-introduced on mainland Alaska. The black triangles on the range map indicate the locations that these muskox were released. As of 2011, the population had grown to over 5,000 animals. Check out the Muskox in Alaska article by Riley Woodford to learn more and see the the PDF version of the "Muskox: A guide to identification, hunting and viewing." Erica Lujan