Hornvik June 2020

Research camp in Hornvik
Research camp in Hornvik
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Hornvik 2020 Research camp

Monitoring Dates 2020

June 22th to 29th


Those interested in Arctic fox monitoring are required to have a certain education level (i.e. a degree in a relevant subject), and/or skills and experience in the fields of biology and/or ecology. There is also a certain amount of personal field equipment needed to be able to commit to the entire span of the monitoring program. Additionally there is a 30,000ISK cost each volunteer has to be ready to pay for the trip to cover the costs of transport to the Hornstrandir nature reserve, food, provided equipment etc.


Our work at Hornvík in the Hornstrandir nature reserve revolves around the monitoring of Arctic fox individuals, pups and dens during one week in June providing us with valuable data in our ongoing research projects. During the June monitoring, cubs are young and vulnerable and feed mainly on mother’s milk. Fox dens are close to tourist paths and the aim of our stay there is to observe the behavior of foxes and humans, in order to see if there are any impacts on the foxes from the presence of people. We also investigate the diet of the foxes by recording food brought home to dens by parents. We will also collect fox scat for further analysis on diet and other important ingredients.


The monitoring trips consists of a total of 12 days, comprising 7 days on the nature reserve (including two transport days), with 2 days of training and preparation before departure, and at least 2 days of data entry, cleaning the gear and "unwinding" upon return to Súðavík. Due to unpredictable weather and sea conditions, there could be a delay on boat rides both ways so we need to be flexible for dates. Please make notice on this when scheduling flights and/or travel time.


For each survey trip we need and can afford only a set number of participants, and as such we prioritize applicants with skills, experience or education in connection with the research work and/or the conditions of Hornstrandir. Past members of the team are first in line.


In Súðavík we have to rent and accommodation to offer volunteers facilities to keep warm, clean and dry and to work on the data sheet after the monitoring week. We will provide you with basic food for breakfast, lunch and dinner (porridge, pasta, vegetables etc.). It is important to inform us with special dietary requirements and potential allergies. The village of Súðavík has a small grocery shop, 2 restaurants, post office etc. and also has a regular bus service into the bigger town of Ísafjörður just 20 mins away. The Arctic Fox Centre will provide a rental car for the team to do the neccessary shopping and travels before and after the survey. 

Practical information: 

Hornstrandir is only accessible by a ferry that goes from Ísafjörður or Bolungarvík. We will use the time on the day before sailing to Hornvik to shop for groceries in Ísafjörður and that is your last chance to buy groceries before heading off. We pack the night before and leave Súðavík early on the day of departure. Everything has to be packed “waterproof” as there is no harbor in Hornvík and we will land on the beach using a zodiac. All items need to be labeled, as there are other passengers with gear on the boat (we do this while packing).

When in Hornstrandir we provide all of your food and cooking needs (stove, cutlery, pots and pans etc.) at our base camp, which in reality is the collection of your tents around our kitchen tent! This is though a very remote, unpopulated wilderness with few spots of phone signal and the living and working conditions are very basic. Please read the links below for detailed information on what you will need to be able to take part in the monitoring.

Each person has to be responsible for her/his own safety. Make sure you have your own travel and health insurances covered.


Download the application form here below to fill out and send to ester@ni.is (cc on melrakki@melrakki.is) together with any other attachments you feel necessary. Note that we only need two volunteers this year.


Looking forward to hearing from you,

on the behalf of The Foxes of Súðavík

Dr. Ester Rut Unnsteinsdóttir

List of required equipment
Hornstrandir Nature Reserve - conditions and info
Life of an Arctic fox monitoring volunteer (in french)