Caribou Herds of Northwest Alaska, 1850-2000 by Ernest S. Burch Jr.


By Ernest S. Burch Jr.

In his ultimate, significant ebook Ernest S. “Tiger” Burch Jr. reconstructs the distribution of caribou herds in northwest Alaska utilizing facts and data from examine performed over the last a number of a long time in addition to resources that predate western technology by means of multiple hundred years. also, he explores human and common components that contributed to the dying and restoration of caribou and reindeer populations in this time. Burch presents an exhaustive checklist of released and unpublished literature and interviews that might intrigue laymen and specialists alike. The unflinching review of the jobs that people and wolves performed within the dynamics of caribou and reindeer herds will unquestionably strike a nerve. Supplemental essays ahead of and after the incomplete paintings upload context in regards to the writer, the undertaking of the ebook, and the significance of either.

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And, like their wild cousins, double their weight by the time they are two weeks old. They are just as precocious as caribou calves but, at least in a close herding regime, do not travel nearly as far or as fast. Reindeer calves also usually have less to fear from non-human predators, being saved by their owners for their own predatory purposes. The more open the herding regime, the more closely the first few weeks of a reindeer’s life resemble that of a caribou calf. Adult Alaska reindeer cows weigh approximately 165–230 lbs.

The observations of trained biologists are considered “scientific,” especially if they are expressed statistically. “Anecdotal data,” on the other hand, consist of the observations or recollections of Natives, explorers, travelers, anthropologists, or others who were not trained as biologists and were not involved in formally organized research projects focused on R. tarandus. Most biologists seem to consider anecdotal data to be worthless. My own attitude toward the use of anecdotal data was well expressed by Henry Dobyns: “one either uses such data as may be available and learns something, however inadequate, or abjures such data and learns nothing” (Dobyns 1976:7; see also Krech 1978b:89).

Documenting any but the most extreme changes in the caribou population more precisely at this distance in time is impossible, and there is no sense in deluding ourselves on the point. 14 The narrower time range here is possible because the amount of information available on it is greater by several orders of magnitude than that existing for the initial period. The reason for a five-year instead of a oneyear “window” is to provide information on annual variation in herd sizes and movements. Changes in the Landscape Over the 150-year period covered by this study15 there have been many changes in the landscape of Northwest Alaska, but most of them had no known major impact on its R.

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