Hello to all volunteers of the Arctic fox center !
We are Phil and Madeleine, and we are volunteers for monitoring the foxes in Hornstrandir in July (8-19th). I am a freelance photographer, working for several magazines of nature and sports (mountain sports like MTB or ski) and Madeleine, my girlfriend, is an interior designer, and she’s a good photographer too, as she often travels with me and help me in shooting my reports. We are very excited to go to Hornstrandir, as we like Iceland nature a lot ! We have been travelling in Iceland 3 times already, in both summer and winter and have spent some times in the westfjords, so we know some of the places (we visited the fox center last summer).
We have set up a small facebook page to inform our friends about our trip, so you are all welcome to like and share it … we’ll put lots of pictures there to share this experience with the most people.
Can’t wait to be there and to know who will be camping with us 🙂
Hi everyone !
I feel a little nervous as this is my first time posting on a blog. My name is Sandra and I am a PhD student studying the arctic foxes of Bylot Island, in the Canadian High Arctic. Working with arctic foxes is amazing, I will always remember fondly each and every fox I handled and observed…
I met my very first arctic fox back in June 2009. A little female still in her white winter coat. We caught her in our trap right before a heavy snow storm hit the area. Thus, we named her “Tempête”, the french word for “Storm”. I knew arctic foxes were small, but I think I didn’t actually expected them to be THAT small. I remember asking my teammate “Is this a cub ?”, she lifted her head, looked at me straight in the eyes and said : “No. This is an adult. When you encounter a cub, you’ll know it’s a cub”. I was dumbfounded, but I would realize how right she was only later in the summer. But back to my first capture, we were surrounded by a thick white fog now and snow had started to fall (we didn’t know at the time that a storm was coming). I was freezing and we were rushing to finish sampling before the weather got worst. We were afraid the fox would get cold too, so I secured her onto my lap to get a better grip and shelter her at the same time. The next thing I remember saying was “I think the fox is okay, actually she’s the one warming me up”. I could feel her warmth all the way through my 3 layers of clothing… ! We released her soon after and she disappeared in the fog.
Tempête was a non-breeder in 2009, but I would meet her again for 3 consecutive years. The picture down below shows her with two of her cubs from 2010 (she had 13 cubs in 2010 !).
I am very excited to be able to meet the foxes of Hornstrandir ! First of all, many of them are of the blue morph, which I’ve never seen on Bylot. Second, they are of the coastal ecotype, feeding on seabirds and other marine ressources, while the foxes from Bylot are lemming foxes, rodent specialists. I am also excited to meet all of you and hope we will have a great time this summer !