Moshøj, Charlotte Margaret3; Forchhammer, Mads C.3; Forbes, Valery E.2
1 Department of Bioscience - Arctic Ecosystem Ecology, Department of Bioscience, Science and Technology, Aarhus University2 Institut for Miljø, Samfund og Rumlig Forandring3 Department of Bioscience - Arctic Ecosystem Ecology, Department of Bioscience, Science and Technology, Aarhus University
Temporal and spatial variations in wildlife population fluctuations in Greenland; The effect of climate, environment and man Moshøj, C.M, M.C.Forchhammer and V.E. Forbes Temporal and spatial variations in wildlife population fluctuations in Greenland; The effect of climate, environment and man: The underlying factors of species fluctuating population dynamics has been the dominant focus of attention in population ecology throughout much of this century. In arctic regions where a severe climate with high seasonal and annual variability and simplistic ecosystems prevail, species of fish, birds and mammals display distinct population fluctuations of varying temporal and spatial scale. In Greenland, historical records, archaeological findings and oral accounts passed on from Inuit elders all document that the presence of wildlife species and their population sizes have undergone pronounced fluctuations throughout recordable historical time. The most detailed accounts are found for the species that were harvested or had economical value. While several recent studies from northern latitudes have shown the relative roles of climate, the exogenous and endogenous environment of species and man as factors driving species population dynamics, the relative contributions and potential interactions among these factors remains unsolved. In Greenland, these fluctuations in the harvests of individual species are believed to be related to changes in climate, as well as variations in hunting pressure. Dating back 200 years, these hunting records therefore represent a unique time series for retrospective modelling of annual and decadal fluctuations in relation to long-term climatic data, environmental factors and temporal variations in social and demographic parameters in the existing society. The results of this study will model future predictions of wildlife populations under changing climate variables and human hunting pressure.