Strange Musk Ox in Zackenberg!

Zackenberg is a name of a river valley, research centre and mountain, all of which lie in the middle range near the eastern coastline of Greenland in the Arctic Ocean. The northern glaciers in this area melt and feed a river called by the same name. That may be one of the reasons to choose the area for the research centre.

The Danish Polar Centre runs the ecological research operations and the ecosystem field in Zackenberg Research Station. The construction of the research station began in 1995 and the station started operations in 1997.

Inuit had also inhabited the area some years ago, nevertheless the home of those people scattered in the Eskimo lands throughout Alaska and Herschel Island off the northeastern shore of Canada.

The following article is about a rare kind of animal called the Musk Ox that lives in this area and the climate change that threatens this animal. If you know any information about any name on this page, please write it through the form below. Thanks. I have some useful gifts for you when you contribute to this page.

Zackenberg in Greenland, Musk Ox

This is the second page about a place in Greenland. The first is Ilulissat here, in addition to other beautiful places in Denmark at Copenhagen and the Wadden Sea, all of which are second tiers in this website. Please, see the alphabetical sitemap below.

Zackenberg is a name given to the mountain in the area, the river and the ecological research operations. The area is home to an ecosystem field station called Zackenberg Research Station.

The construction of this research centre began in 1995 and it started operations in 1997. The Danish Polar Centre runs the operations in the centre, which is located at Young Sund (Tyrolerfjord) a few kilometres northwest of Daneborg.

What did you know about Musk Ox?

The musk ox is one of planet's oldest extant mammals. This kind of animal is rare in the world. It breeds in the high Arctic area in the northern regions of the Earth, which include the polar islands.

It lives specially in Greenland, where Ilulissat and Zackenberg lie and it lives also in Herschel Island. Because this animal is indeed more akin to sheep than the ox, it is called "Ovibus" in Latin, which means "sheep-beef" or "sheep-ox".

In Greenland, they call it "Umimmak", which means "the long bearded". The name alludes to the long wool, to describe its appearance in rich layers of wool that protect it from the wind and cold.

The Musk ox is indigenous and it lives in herd and this may be because it has a self-defending system through the herd, so when threatened, the herd form a circle to protect themselves and their calves and scare away the offender.

They feed on the sparse vegetation that grows to a height of 5-6 inches during the summer season, when temperatures can reach about 10º C. In winter when the temperature drops to -35º C, the Musk ox scrapes its hooves down through the deep snow to find food.

Climate change is expected to lead to large temperature fluctuations, which can form thicker layers of ice on vegetation in the spring and autumn.

Higher temperatures may result in an annual precipitation increase of 20% and in winter up to between 30% and 50%. The result will be an increase of the snow depth by 10-25%.

Both of the snow and the increased snow depth will make it extremely difficult for musk ox to find food. The increasing amounts of snow may even delay the growing season and make the vegetation sparser.

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