Seven of Norway’s Arctic musk ox that wander around the mountains of Dovre were shot in a single day this week, part of an effort to reduce the herd by up to 20. Wildlife authorities claim the goal is to ward off “conflicts” within the herds and between the musk ox and people.
County officials in Oppland, Møre og Romsdal and Trøndelag recommended reducing the musk ox (moskus) population this winter, in order to keep it confined to Dovre. The goal is to maintain it around 200 animals. If it gets much bigger than that, it’s more likely the large animals can wander out of their core area and run into conflict.
“We’ve had as many as 300 musk ox,” Tord Bretten of the state nature and wildlife authority SNO (Statens naturoppsyn) told state broadcaster NRK. “With 200 there’s lower risk of any infections spreading and you get less potential for conflicts between man and moskus.”
Regulations call for the musk ox that have been shot to be transported for fleecing and slaughtering. The moskus skins are popular and can be sold.