26.06.2012 - 17:47

Hornvik June - first monitoring 2012

Peter, Félicé and Ashley on a good day
Peter, Félicé and Ashley on a good day
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The first monitoring week in Hornvik is now finished and we have a lot of observation data after 12 hour monitoring at two den sites for five consecutive days.
Arctic fox density is the same, in general, as usually in this area: six breeding pairs on their territory in and around the walleyes of Cliff Hornbjarg. The foxes come quite well from winter but of course there are individual differences on body condition.
It is interesting to see so many new animals again but last year there was a total turnover in the whole cliff - then all territories were occupied by new pairs and some were not even breeding. This time we met some individuals from last year and they seemed quite well established.
Despite high density and firmly protected territorial borders, some of the breeding pairs seemed to be somewhat tolerant to neighbouring foxes. In all cases though, loud barking and frequent scent marking close to borders was the rule.

It was Ester, with the aid from Ashley Gerner (USA), Peter Lown (UK), Felice Van 't Wout (UK/Holland) , Clémentine Dentz and Jerome (France), who went to Hornvik this time and, according to Ester, they all did a great job. The weather was helpful, mild winds and dry most of the time. Sea conditions were excellent both ways and the boat guys at Borea Adventures and Sjoferdir dit a great job. As in other years, we were allowed to camp at private land of Horn, thanks to the owners of Stigshus, which makes a great difference since we do not have to spend too much time in transport to the foxes each monitoring day.

At the centre, we already have got a help from seven volunteers this summer. In addition to those who came to Hornvik, Amiran and Jason have been with us, helping at the centre in various ways. Peter and Félicé also helped at the centre before and after Hornvik, they face-painted for example at our anniversary - the little orphans (arctic fox pups) are especially benefitting from all the additional assistance.