July 09, 2001

No new wolf sign. Odds of finding Explorer slim.

Mech and Medwid: We found 4 new starved musk ox carcasses; two calves and two adults. Saw a herd of seven yesterday and a herd of 6 today plus a single. The total for the trip is about 22 live and 13 dead. Total arctic hares seen is 8. So not much for the wolves to eat. No new wolf sign.

It is clear that Explorer has left the area or died over winter. We may never find out which.

On an exploratory hike today we had the unusual experience of having mosquitoes swarming around us at the same time a brief snow shower fell. Some alpine meadows are greening up so there will be ample food for the musk oxen that are left.

We are beginning to make preparations for returning to Minnesota and will be leaving the study area at the end of the week. Further updates will be forthcoming.

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