Drilling proponents point to the advent of oil production in Prudhoe Bay to the east of ANWR and a concomitant increase in the Central Arctic caribou
herd population (93) as support for the proposition that development activity is better than bad for caribou--it's good.
Those who favor drilling argue that the Central Arctic caribou
herd, which interacts with the Prudhoe Bay development, has grown since oil exploitation began.
For example, during the last 20 years of oil operations, the central arctic caribou
herd at Prudhoe Bay has swelled from 3,000 animals to 18,100.
According to a November letter to President Clinton signed by 225 zoologists and other scientists, "Research on the Central Arctic caribou
herd at Prudhoe Bay indicates appreciable losses of preferred calving and summer habitats in response to petroleum development.
Caribou and oil drilling: One hundred miles to the west, the Central Arctic caribou
herd, about one-tenth the size of the Porcupine herd, has contended with oil development at Prudhoe Bay on the northern edge of that herd's range.
Linkages between large-scale climate patterns and the dynamics of Arctic caribou
The Central Arctic caribou
herd, consisting of only about 5,000 animals at the time oil production began, wandered in and out of the Prudhoe Bay area, and the Porcupine caribou herd occasionally spent summers on the coastal plain of what is now the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to the east of Prudhoe Bay.
One such herd, the Western Arctic Caribou
Herd, now numbers almost 465,000 animals, comprising one of the largest wild caribou herds in the world.
Qualitative and quantitative aspects of natural mortality of the Western Arctic Caribou
Those findings have led to the understanding that Arctic caribou
can be habitat-limited, and lifetime reproductive success involves breeding pauses to regain energy and protein reserves after successful weaning.
The Arctic Caribou
Hotel is geared more to visitors.
In northern Alaska, an industrial road that has been proposed to facilitate mining transects a portion of the Western Arctic caribou
herd's winter range.
Intense insect harassment has been linked to above-average calf mortality the following winter in the Western Arctic caribou
herd (Klein, 1992).
This may not have been the case for some communities, especially those located on the coast, where marine mammals and fish were the principal sources of food and clothing Today, marine mammals and fish are the primary components of the subsistence harvest in coastal villages on the Seward Peninsula, while caribou are taken only opportunistically even though the current population of the Western Arctic caribou
herd is high.
Because of the extreme low growth of vegetation and the patchy appearance of High Arctic caribou
ranges, some observers may seriously underestimate forage abundance, leading to speculation that all reductions in population dynamics during the relatively favorable weather years had to be caused by mechanisms operating in a density-dependent manner in response to food limitation.