Moving Muskoxen as an Arctic Resource in the Twentieth Century

In Cambridge History of the Polar Regions, ed. Adrian Howkins and Peder Roberts, 702-725. Cambridge University Press, 2023.

In this chapter I discuss how muskoxen went from having a small geographical distribution in the 1800s to being flung across the northern reaches of the Northern northern hemisphere by humans moving them in the late nineteenth and twentieth century.  While these movements were never in large numbers, they spread the muskox out across geographies where it had previously become extinct. The movements show us the connected nature of the Arctic both politically and environmentally. Expertise and enthusiasm for muskoxen was shared across national borders. These intentional movements took place with a colonizing, improving, and settling mindset,  but as this chapter shows, those lofty ideals did not often translate into success.

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