Norwegian musk culling season has started

Musk ox DovreMusk in the Dovre Mountain National Park, Photo: Roger Brendhagen /

The annual musk ox culling season has started on the Dovre Mountain

The annual culling of musk is now underway. Four animals have so far been culled by the Norwegian Nature Conservation Authority (SNO). During the next two months, up to 20 individuals will be felled.

“An adult cow was culled on Monday. Two adult cows and one calf were shot On Tuesday, as part of reducing the winter population of musk. This in order for the stock to be more in line with the recommendation by the management plan for the species,” Section Manager of SNO, Kjartan Knutsen, informs.

The goal is 200 individuals

The goal of the management is to keep the population at around 200 individuals through the winter in the core area of the species on the Dovre Mountain. If the stock grows larger than this, it is believed that the risk of animals migrating out of the core area, and coming in conflict with humans and other interests, will increase.

Last winter, 244 animals were registered at the musk count. In consultation with the county governors of Oppland and Møre & Romsdal, the County Governor of Trøndelag, therefore, advised the Norwegian Environment Agency to reduce the musk population this winter. This advice came in October last year.

“We have considered it right to open for the culling of up to 20 animals this winter, in order to get the stock down to 200 individuals within three to four years. This provides us with the opportunity to keep track of what the culling entails for the population’s use of land, the composition and the production of calves over a period of time,” Senior Adviser in the Wildlife Section of the Environment Agency, Erik Lund, explains.

This Winter’s culling takes place until March 15th at the latest.

The Musk Ox

The shaggy primaeval beast Musk oxen died out in Europe during the last Ice Age. They have now made themselves at home in the park after several re-introductions between 1932 and 1953.

Its compact body and robust coat admirably equip this primaeval beast to withstand harsh winters in the mountains.

Reindeer bucks, Arctic foxes and Musk oxen pay scant attention to humans, but if they feel threatened they may just attack. To avoid hazardous confrontations, you should keep a minimum distance of 200 metres. If you spot a musk ox on your route, give it a wide berth and let it have the right of way.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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