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Polar Biology

, 31:1421 | Cite as

Sea-ice use by arctic foxes in northern Alaska

  • Nathan J. PamperinEmail author
  • Erich H. Follmann
  • Brian T. Person
Original Paper

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Alopex lagopus Arctic fox Beaufort Sea Chukchi Sea Satellite telemetry Sea-ice Winter movements 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was supported by the North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management with National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska Program funds available through the State of Alaska Department of Community, Commerce and Economic Development. N. Pamperin received additional support through a student grant from the Center for Global Change and Arctic System Research at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Institute of Arctic Biology summer research fellowship, Department of Biology and Wildlife teaching assistantship, and through the Dean Wilson Scholarship provided by the Alaska Trappers Association. We would like to thank J. Craig George of the North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management, Luther Leavitt of Barrow, Alaska, and Larry Larrivee of Pollux Aviation for their assistance in the field and logistical support. We thank Dr. Bill Streever of BP Exploration Alaska, Inc. for providing logistical support for our field work in Prudhoe Bay. We also appreciate the insightful comments of Falk Huettmann and Mark Lindberg who reviewed the original manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathan J. Pamperin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Erich H. Follmann
    • 2
  • Brian T. Person
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Biology and WildlifeUniversity of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Arctic BiologyUniversity of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA
  3. 3.Department of Wildlife ManagementNorth Slope BoroughBarrowUSA

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