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Saturday, 19 July 2008 02:06
Predators do shape the arctic fauna. This year, the den next door is the only den with young. We have counted 8 puppies but saw the smallest one dead within a few days. Two wildlife photographers have been visiting us and taken pictures like these. More about the marking of the puppies on www.arcticstation.nl. photo's by Jasper Doest (www.doest-photograp...
Sunday, 06 July 2008 01:55
Scandinavian Royals Visit The Arctic
In the International Polar Year, many people try to help with focusing on polar science. On June 26, we had a visit of Royal ambassadors, the heirs of the Scandinavian thrones: Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Crown Prince Frederick of Danmark and Crown Prince Haakon from Norway. They were on a boat trip with the Swedish ice breaker Oden and arrived per helicopter. There was a program with informal presentations and an excursion to the Zeppelin and marine station. During the city walk, they visited the Netherlands Arctic Station. Victoria immediately noticed my wooden shoes. On the picture from left to right: Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, the Governor of Svalbard (Sysselmannen), Oddvar Midtkandal (director of Kings Bay), Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Kim Holm...
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 05:53
Checking Goose Nests in Spitsbergen
At the start of the season, we are trying to assess the season as quick as possible. Which goose is nesting where, and how many eggs are in the nest. During a visit on the island Storholmen in the Kings Bay at Spitsbergen, I came across this old lady. I ringed this goose green PA in 1991, when she was already an adult. She knows the drill as well as I do and does not want to spend much energy on resistance. I lift her up, read the ring and count the eggs. At other arctic sites, there seems to be a lot of snow and incubation has been delayed. In my study area, despite the large amount of snow, nesting sites were available and nesting started at about a similar time as last year. Clutch size is low with an average of 3.6 goose eggs per nest after the first checks. Glaucous gull...
Thursday, 12 April 2007 23:35
The Arctic Fox Dilemma
Today I received a picture of two arctic foxes, resting in the dim morning light on Spitsbergen. The picture awakes an emotional conflict. I like the foxes a lot but hope they will starve.... I am studying geese, but I am faced with an increasing predation pressure of foxes. Since the start of my field study in 1990, there have been several years without polar foxes in the study area. In these years all birds are doing well and increase in numbers. When polar foxes are present, there are very few young birds surviving. In the past six years with an increasing predation pressure of foxes, the goose population has become half of what it was. The arctic fox is well adapted to the harsh winter conditions. There is not much food. Rodents are lacking on Spitsberge...
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