Polar Biology

, 31:1421

Sea-ice use by arctic foxes in northern Alaska


    • Department of Biology and WildlifeUniversity of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Erich H. Follmann
    • Institute of Arctic BiologyUniversity of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Brian T. Person
    • Department of Wildlife ManagementNorth Slope Borough
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00300-008-0481-5

Cite this article as:
Pamperin, N.J., Follmann, E.H. & Person, B.T. Polar Biol (2008) 31: 1421. doi:10.1007/s00300-008-0481-5


The extensive use of sea-ice by three arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) in northern Alaska was documented using satellite telemetry during the winter of 2005–2006. Here we present the first detailed data on movements of individual foxes while on the sea-ice. Two juvenile males and one juvenile female traveled long distances (904, 1,096, and 2,757 km) and remained on the sea-ice for extended periods of time (76, 120, and 156 days). Average distances traveled per day ranged from 7.5 to 17.6 km and foxes achieved maximum rates of travel of up to 61 km/day. These findings verify the use of sea-ice by arctic foxes and raise concerns that the diminishing arctic ice cover may negatively impact populations by limiting access to marine food sources.


Alopex lagopusArctic foxBeaufort SeaChukchi SeaSatellite telemetrySea-iceWinter movements

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008