Several dead muskox have been found on Banks Island, sparking fears the bacteria that culled the herd there last summer has returned.

Last year, an outbreak of Erysipelas bacteria killed more than 100 animals on the island. It's not yet clear if the same pathogen is to blame this time, or if the animals died from other means.

Vernon Amos, president of the Hunters and Trappers Committee in Sachs Harbour near Inuvik, N.W.T. wants an aerial survey done to see how bad the situation is.

"There are still high numbers of dead and dying muskox out on the land," he told CBC news. "There are just so many out there that we don't have the manpower or the resources to do that, but what we are doing is avoiding any sick, dead or dying muskox," he said.

The territorial government is sending sampling kits to Sachs Harbour and Ulukhaktuk to determine the cause.

Banks Island is home to the largest population of muskox in the world. At one time, there were over  90,000 roaming the island.