Stable populations

With approximately 60,000 individuals worldwide, muskox populations are considered stable.

Conservation Status

Source: IUCN

Canadian Wilds Mini Map

You can find this animal in
Canadian Wilds

Important Facts

Circle the wagons

When threatened, groups of muskox form a circle with their sharp horns pointed outward, protecting their calves from wolves or bears by hiding them in the centre of the herd. They stay in a circle formation for as long as they can in an attempt to outlast their predators.


Conservation connections

Using their horns and numbers to scare off predators may be effective with wolves and bears, but doesn’t work so well against human hunters who killed great numbers of muskox for their hides and meat.


Up and running

Muskox moms are pregnant for a long time – around eight months – but there is little time to waste after their calves are born. Fully furred at birth, muskox calves need to be up and running with the herd only a few hours after being born. Muskox moms keep their calves toasty warm by tucking them under their skirts of fur, next to their bellies.

At a Glance

Scientific Name

Ovibos moschatus

Weight

180 – 380 kg (396 - 836 lb)

Height

Conservation Status

Least Concern

Habitat

North of the treeline on the Arctic tundra in Canada, United States, Greenland, Scandinavia, and Siberia.

Diet

Herbivore. Muskox search the tundra for roots, mosses and lichens (a type of fungus) to eat. In winter, they dig for frozen plants hidden under the snow.