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Home range and movements of arctic foxes Alopex lagopus in Svalbard

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Movements and home ranges of arctic foxes Alopex lagopus were studied in two regions of Svalbard by means of radio tracking (n= 17), ear tagging (n= 192) and visual observations. The movements of radio collared foxes were highly variable, and most foxes roamed over wide areas at least during periods of the year. Home range size was estimated for 11 foxes when more stationary and for three other less stationary foxes, and were in the range 5–120km2. During non-stationary periods several foxes roamed over areas 500–1000 km2 or more. These movements may more correctly be classified as nomadic, and should not be termed home ranges. Only 3 of 12 radio collarec. foxes that disappeared from an area, returned later. Seven of the 17 foxes were relocated to the same area in more than one season. Overlap of home ranges was extensive, even more so when a number of non-tagged foxes in the regions were included. The heavier juveniles and adults were more sedentary than those of weight lower than median.

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Frafjord, K., Prestrud, P. Home range and movements of arctic foxes Alopex lagopus in Svalbard. Polar Biol 12, 519–526 (1992).

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  • Range Size
  • Home Range
  • Wide Area
  • Visual Observation
  • Home Range Size