The Arctic Fox Center in Súðavík, the West Fjords, recently received a grant worth ISK 1.8 million (USD 14,000, EUR 11,000) from the Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources for studying fox lairs in Hornstrandir nature reserve.
An Arctic fox. Photo: Hallgrímur Egilsson/Iceland Review.
“It has significant meaning for our work as we’ve been to Hornstrandir every summer since the center was established [in 2007] and have funded the expeditions more or less with waffle money,” Esther Rut Unnsteinsdóttir, the Arctic Fox Center’s managing director, told local news website bb.is.
The center also received funding from the ministry last year and Esther stated that as the center has no fixed income, state-funding is very important to its operations.
The condition of all known lairs in Hornstrandir is studied every five years, Esther said. The region’s Hornvík bay is the most densely-populated fox territory in the country.
Uninhabited by people, Hornstrandir is beloved among hikers and the center is now also studying the impact of increased tourism on the fox population in the area; how foxes react to a growing number of people in their territory.
“It is clear that because of the region being under preservation the foxes are tamer and more active during the day than in other areas around the country,” Esther stated.