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Record year for the arctic fox in Varanger

Publisert 26.08.2022

Despite moderate abundances of rodents (an increase phase year) 12 arctic fox litters and 76 pups have been registered on Varanger Peninsula so far this summer.

From one of the 12 dens with pups, an adult with a lemming in mouth. Photo: COAT automatic camera

This represents a new record in the 22 years long monitoring series and continues the steep increase in the reproductive output of the arctic fox population (see figure under) since the start of the new management efforts in 2017.

Minimum number of arctic fox pups recorded in the Varanger den monitoring series.

These efforts consist of introduction of captive bred foxes (years 2018, 2019 and 2020) and supplementary feeding at breeding dens (since 2017) and adds to the culling of red fox since 2005.

Only two of the recorded litters this summer were at a den without supplementary feeding. All dens with supplementary feeding (10 dens) had breeding foxes. This demonstrate the importance of supplementary feeding in years with low-moderate rodent numbers, although it should be noted that the feeding stations have been allocated to the best dens.

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