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68   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

tuberculosis in 1906, and one of perforation of the stomach caused by an ulcer in 1907. In that year he killed four that were suffering from mange, and in 1908, Major Clark killed nine that he found afflicted with the same disease.

"An unusual number of dead on St. Paul island the winter of 1902-03, taken in connection with symptoms of mania noticed by Mr. Lembkey, led him to believe that an epidemic of some sort affected the foxes that year.

"When foxes starve to death a dark discharge issues from the anus.

"Statistics of the catches prior to 1840 are not available. Yield of   For the 19 years ending with 1860 the average annual

Fog Skins

catch for St. George island was 1,278.

"For the 19 years ending with 1889, according to figures kindly furnished me by the Alaska Commercial Company, the former lessees of the sealing privileges, the average annual yield was 1,074.

"The following table shows concisely the entire trapping since steel traps were abandoned, which is coincident with the inauguration of regular feeding.

BLUE FOXES TRAPPED

NUMBER OF TRAPPINGS

RELEASED AS BREEDERS

Killed, inc. white

*Total trapped

 

Fox house

Elsewhere

 

Male

Female

 

1897—98   

11

1

346

102

324

772

1898—99   

7

 

386

110

389

885

1899—00,....

9

 

418

65

498

981

1900—01....

24

7

441

204

690

1,335

1901—02....

24

9

246

202

650

1,098

1902—03....

28

21

511

250

250

1,011

1903—04   

28

21

491

284

286

1,061

1904—05....

38

37

272

244

250

766

1905—06....

43

22

481

279

302

1,062

1906—07....

36

31

380

232

270

882

1907—08....

 

 

446

267

272

1,005

*Occasionally the column, "total trapped," includes skins of animals found dead.

"During the first three years shown in the above table, the work was under the supervision of the government agents, the next five under that of the company agents, and, since 1906, again under the government agents. The ebb and flow in fox life as shown by the trapping is capable of explanation, but the details cannot here be considered.


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