17.10.2013 - 13:05

Closing Words

The 4th International Conference on Arctic Fox (lat. Vulpes lagopus) Biology was sucessfully held at Hótel Núpur in the Westfjords of Iceland over the weekend 11-13th October 2013. It was the first time that Iceland had been chosen to host this prestigious event, with The Arctic Fox Centre, Súðavík in charge of the conference organisation, the first ever international scientific conference held in the Westfjords.

The conference was well attended, with 51 participants from Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, USA, Finnland, Germany, New Zealand and Canada, holding 22 presentations under 4 plenaries; Population perspectives, Interactions with other species and humans, Physiology and genetics and Consevation and managment. 8 posters were also sessioned during the conference. Of these The Arctic Fox Centre was responsible for 2 presentaions under „Consevation and managment“ and also sessioned 2 posters of its on going research.

The conference was dedicated to the memory of the late Prof. Páll Hersteinson, founder of The Arctic Fox Centre and a pioneer in the field of arctic fox research worldwide. On the final day fo the conference collegues, friends and family dedicated time to the rememberance of Páll.

The Arctic Fox Centre would like to thank all those who attended the conference and a special aknowledgment to those who prepared and presented to the conference on the valuable projects for which they work.

West Tours and Borea Adventures deserve a special mention for organising the logistics of the conference as well as the tours during the program period and Hótel Núpur for supplying the conference location, accommodation and enjoyable meals.

The conference would not have been able to take place without the support of the local communtiy, and to this end we would like to thank the municipalities of Súðavík, Ísafjörður, Bolungarvík, the ATVEST economic development agency and The Association of Municipalities of the Westfjords.

A final thanks go to the artist Arielle Dreams, from the united states, who designed a special card in p‘all´s memory, with all profits from its sale going towars the Páll Hersteinsson fund for arctic fox research.

10.10.2013 - 09:06

Complete Conference Program

Thursday 10 October


Pre-tour (Borea Adventures) - Arctic Fox Centre and the foxes of Hornstrandir Nature Reserve

Friday 11 October


Registration and conference handouts


Welcome word


Plenary I


An ecosystem approach for monitoring and management of the Arctic fox.

Killengreen, S.T., Henden, J.A., Hamel, S., Ehrich, D., Yoccoz, Y. and Ims, R.


Population perspectives I


Stable arctic foxes in a changing ecosystem in the southern tundra of Yamal, Russia


Ehrich, D., Sokolov, A.A., Sokolova, N.A., Fuglei, E., Rodnikova, A.Y., Ims, R.A., Yoccoz, N.G. and Sokolov, V.A.


Ecology of the arctic fox in Svalbard: a synthesis based on long-term monitoring data


Fuglei, E.,  Pedersen, Å.Ø. and Ims, R.A.


Arctic fox dens 40 years survey in Yamal peninsula, Russia


Sokolov, A., Shtro, V., Ehrich, D. and Sokolova, N.


Lunch Break


Plenary II


Where do arctic foxes go in winter? A 6-year study using satellite telemetry on Bylot Island, Canada

Lai, S., Bêty, J. and Berteaux, D.


Population perspectives II


Social organization in arctic foxes, pattern and processes


Angerbjörn, A., Elmhagen, B., Godoy, E., Hersteinsson, P., Meijer, T., Norén, K. and Wagenius, S.


Demography of the Mednyi arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus semenovi)


Doronina, L.O., Bocharova, N.A., Nanova, O.G., Kruchenkova, E.P., Sergeev, S.S., Shienok, A.N., Volodin, I.A. and Goltsman, M.E.


Fluctuations in arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) juvenile survival in a cyclic environment. Effects


of maternal experience, fox juvenile body measurements and habitat primary productivity.

Erlandsson, R., Angerbjörn, A. and Meijer, T.


Coffee break


Interaction with other species and humans


Foxes, lemmings and voles


Elmhagen, B., Meijer, T., Hellström, P., Norén, K., Dahlgren, J.P., Eide., N. and Angerbjörn, A.


Food subsidies rather than climate warming may explain the twentieth century red fox expansion


into the Canadian Arctic

Gallant, D., Lecomte, N. and Berteaux, D.


Arctic fox as an Eco-tourism attraction


Gardfall, E.


 Poster session




Social visit to the Arctic Fox Centre (optional)



Saturday 12 October


Plenary III


Sea ice, lemmings and other foxes - context-dependent genetic structuring in the arctic fox

Norén, K.


Physiology and genetics


Variability in stress, parasites, and diet in arctic fox.


Roth, J.D., Friesen, O.C. and McDonald, R.M.


Kin encounter rate and inbreeding avoidance in canids


Geffen, E., Kam, M., Hefner, R., Hersteinsson, P., Angerbjörn, A., Dalèn, L., Fuglei, E., Norèn, K., Adams, J.R., Vucetich, J., Meier, T.J., Mech, D.L., Vonholdt, B.M., Stahler, D.R. and Wayne, R.K.


Lunch Break


Plenary IV


The fox tax - a brief overview of Conservation and management in Iceland

Unnsteinsdóttir, E.R.


Conservation and management


Management of the arctic fox in Norway – history and status


Bolstad, J.P.


Arctic fox Skandinavia 2013 – status and conservation actions


Eide, N.


Success of the endangered arctic fox captive breeding programme


Landa, A., Tovmo, M., Ulvund, K., Meås, R., Eide, N.E., Flagstad, Ø. and Andersen, R.


Coffee break and poster session


Conservation and management


Arctic foxes in Hornstrandir Nature Reserve - status on conservation and research


Unnsteinsdóttir, E.R. and Hersteinsson, P.


Felles Fjellrev – a Norwegian-Swedish InterReg/EU project on Arctic foxes in the Scandinavian




Ericson, M.


Fieldwork in the Scandinavian Arctic fox project, Felles Fjellrev


Solstad, T., Liljemark, L., Berglund, H., Johansen, T. and Blad, N.


Conservation Status of the Pribilof Fox Alopex lagopus pribilofensis


White, P.A.


A visit into agent world, original home of the early 1900´s


Banquet - Dinner and toast to our good friend PH

Sunday 13 October : Páll Hersteinsson memorial day


An overview of Hersteinsson studies in Iceland


Greetings from former collaborators and mentors


Ester Rut Unnsteinsdóttir


Collaboration with PH in Sweden:


Anders Angerbjörn


Collaboration with PH in Norway:


Eva Fuglei, Rolf Ims, Nina Eide


Collaboration with PH in Westfjords:


Þorleifur Eiríksson


Collaboration with PH in Iceland/UNI


Skarphéðinn Þórisson


Lunch Break


Slideshow of late Pall´s work


Film Introductions

The Arctic Foxes of Hornstrandir - Ljósop, introduction and trailer, Iceland

ICELAND by Tobias Mennle, from the series “Wild Scandinavia”, Germany

Skolliales by Haukur Sigurdsson, MSc project in visual anthropology, Norway/Iceland

Storm & Tinde - introduction and trailer. A film about the future of the Arctic Fox in Scandinavia by The InterReg/EU-project Felles Fjellrev

Frumbygginn (e. The Settler). A documentary film by Snorri Þórisson. Following Páll Hersteinsson in his field studies in Ófeigsfjörður during 1980´s, Iceland


Coffee break


Concluding remarks and future steps


Ending of the conference “Salute”

27.09.2013 - 16:12

Conference Update

Dear colegues,

with only 2 weeks to go until the 4th International Arctic Fox Conference begins here in the westfjords of Iceland, we would like to remind all of the following information:


For those of you who will participate and have not finished your registration, please contact Westtours or register directly on their web page: http://www.vesturferdir.is/index.php?f=68&lang=en They also give good advice and information about rental cars and flybus etc.

Conference registration and handouts (name badges etc.) will begin 9am friday 11th October at Hotel Nupur

For those of you who are preparing their lectures and posters: Logo, Lecture and poster form can be downloaded at our web page: http://melrakki.is/conference/ feel free to use these forms at will. Presenters will be given 15 minutes for their oral presentation followed by a 5-min question period. Plenary sessions will be 35 min + 10 min questions.

Recommended poster size: 90cm x 120cm in a portrait layout, should not be larger. Text size should not be smaller than 28-30pt, title of the size 120-160pt and information about author, institute and adress can be 30-60 or as fits best.

For those of you planning on taking advantage of the organised tours please be sure to bring sutable warm and waterproof clothing to be several hours outside in the unpredictable Icelandic weather.

Please be aware that due to road and weather conditions, the Westerly direct route from Keflavík international airport/Reykjavík will be closed. All conference participants should follow the route shown in the map below:

Participants arriving into Ísafjörður domestic airport should follow the map below:

For up to date information on the road and weather conditions please see these links:
Road Conditions
Weather Conditions

For any further information or clarification please contact rannsokn@melrakki.is / laisandra@gmail.com

We look forward meeting you all

- the Arctic Fox Pack, Sudavik

13.09.2013 - 15:38

Preliminary Program

Arctic fox sleeping @ Eric Maes
Arctic fox sleeping @ Eric Maes

Preliminary Program for The 4th International Arctic Fox Conference is now ready. Note that some changes can be expected but the general schedule will be as follows:


Thursday 10 October

Pre-tour – Arctic Fox Centre and Hornstrandir Nature Reserve

Friday 11 October

09:00-10:00 Registration and conference handouts
10:00-10:15 Introduction and welcome words

10:15-11:00 Plenary talk

11:00-12:00 Population perspectives I

13:15-14:00 Plenary talk 

14:00-15:00 Population perspectives II

15:30-16:10 Interaction with other species 

16:30-17:30 Poster session

19:00 Dinner

20:00 - 22:30 Social visit to the Arctic Fox Centre (optional)

Saturday 12 October

10:00-10:45 Plenary talk

11:00-11:40 Physiology and genetics

13:15-14:00 Plenary talk

14:00-15:00 Conservation and management

15:30-17:00 Conservation and management

17:00-18:00 Poster session

19:00-… Banquet - Dinner and toast to our good friend Pall Hersteinsson


Sunday 13 October : Pall Hersteinssons Memorial Day

10:00-12:00 - An overview of Hersteinssons studies in Iceland and other areas
and fields of the arctic fox´s distributional range in time and space

13:20-15:00 Posters, Films, Slide shows and „storytelling“

15.30-16.15 Concluding remarks and future steps

16:30-17:00 Ending of the conference “Salute”

All confernce days:
12:00-13:15 Lunch Break

15:00-15:30 Coffee break





-       For those who want to attain only a part of the conference or think you are too late to participate, please feel free to contact the organizers by e-mail to rannsokn@melrakki.is or laisandra@gmail.com


-       On the behalf of the organizing committee

Ester & Sanda


10.08.2013 - 17:00

Registration and deadlines

At The Arctic Fox Centre: some of us are more foxes than others ...
At The Arctic Fox Centre: some of us are more foxes than others ...

Dear Colleagues 
We are glad to announce that Booking and registration for the 4th International Arctic Fox Conference is now available on http://www.westtours.is/. Note that prices differ according to the room type and if you take the domestic flight+bus from the airport. West tours can also assist you and give information on rental cars if you are interested in renting a car in Reykjavik and drive to Westfjords. Simply contact them at westtours@westtours.is. Note that in October the weather is unpredictable and you need to make sure that GPS in the car will not lead you into closed summer roads in case the winter comes early ... 

The pre tour is on the behalf of Borea Adventures. Information and booking is found on their web page: http://www.boreaadventures.com

Deadline for SHORT abstracts is September 1st 2013. One paragraph, title and a preference for a talk or a poster presentation will do due to short time. A deadline for FULL abstracts is September 21st. 
– please download the abstract form on our web page: http://melrakki.is/conference/  Fill out the abstract form, save it with your name and send as attachment by e-mail to: rannsokn@melrakki.is and laisandra@gmail.com – in the subject you write your name and “abstract” or "Poster abstract".

For further information and comments, please don´t hesitate to contact us 
by phone: 00 354 8628219 or e-mail: rannsokn@melrakki.is / laisandra@gmail.com / erunnst@gmail.com

looking forward
on the behalf of the committee
Ester & the other foxes

08.08.2013 - 11:19

The pre-tour

Fox and people at Kviar
Fox and people at Kviar
« 1 of 2 »

Hornstrandir and Arctic Foxes

We will pick you up at Isafjordur airport in the morning and then we go for a visit to The Arctic Fox Centre in Sudavik (25min drive). At the centre you will see the arctic fox exhibition that is based on information about biology, ecology and the history of hunting and human-fox relationship in Iceland. Late Professor Pall Hersteinsson was the founder of the Arctic Fox Centre and it is enlighted with his idealism and policy.

You will be served with light refresments at the Arctic Fox Café and traditional fish stew for lunch before leaving to Hornstrandir Nature Reserve: We embark our speedboat Bjarnarnes, head over the big fjord and into the Jokulfirdir fjord system until we take land at Kviar.


Kvíar is an old farmhouse in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve.  When people abandoned the area in 1948, arctic foxes were the only remaining land mammals.  For 65 years they have roamed around, free from human disturbance, making them rather tame and playful.


Kviar is the only house in many kilometers radius, reachable only by boat, a house full of history but devoid of human presence for the last 65 years until we got it last summer. 


It is a unique opportunity to visit Hornstrandir in a relatively short timeframe, learn about and feel the history of the area and perhaps see arctic foxes in their natural environment. In this area, most of the foxes are of the blue morph (around 80%) and mixed litters of white and blue are quite common.  


We are active members of The Wild North, we respect the arctic foxes and other wildlife. Therefore we walk carefully, keep distance and follow guidelines and rules given by natural wildlife specialists.


Total price pr person is 150€  and included is bus and boat transfer, guiding, refreshments at Kvíar and the visti to The Arctic Fox Centre.

If you have any questions please contact us at: info@boreaadventures.com
Booking will be available on our website: www.boreaadventures.com

welcome to Kviar

Borea Adventures
Aðalstræti 22b
400 Ísafjörður
tel: 00 354 456 3322
07.06.2013 - 10:58

Timing and schedule draft

New information about the pre-tour to Hornstrandir !
Those who want to take the tour will be picked up at Isafjordur airport on Thursday 10th of October at 9.35 by a bus. The bus takes us to Bolungarvik harbour (17km) where we take a ferry to the remote Hornstrandir Nature Reserve to see the Arctic Foxes (app. 1,5 hours). After the tour we will go by a bus to Sudavik to visit the Arctic Fox Centre (37km) where we also get some refreshments. Borea Adventures will take care of the post-con tour and make sure that you get to the conference place (Hotel Nupur) before too late on Thursday night.

Brief schedule:
On Friday the 11th of October at 10.00 the conference will be set formally and the program will be as usual, with plenary talks and shorter lectures on the various fields of arctic fox research. We will take lunch around 12.00 and coffee break at 15.00 and end the sessions of the day at 17.30. Dinner will be served at 19.00.
On Saturday, the 12th the program begins again at 10.00 and ends at 17.00, including poster sessions, lunch and coffee break. Dinner will be on a finer status since we will honor the memory of our friend and mentor, late Prof. Pall Hersteinsson specially.

On Sunday, the 13th we dedicate the day to late Prof. Pall Hersteinsson´s memory and introduce various projects he took part in regarding arctic fox studies. The full program for Sunday will be announced later and everyone will be asked contribute something to this part of the confernce. 

The conference ends with a summary and discussions of the last days work and termination at 17.00 on Sunday.

All bookings for the conference, pre and post activities and informations will be taken care of by West-tours.
contact information, booking and registration will be set out in the coming days. 

see you in October
Ester & the other foxes
17.05.2013 - 17:07

New information

For information:

Accomodation and conference takes place at Hotel Nupur - the registration fee is booked at Westtours - including is bus rides to and from Isafjordur airport (one extra night on special offer for those who want to stay longer), registration fees and all the lunches, coffees and dinners.

Rental cars are available at Keflavik Airport, Reykjavik Airport and Isafjordur Airport. Here you can see the easiest way to drive to The Arctic Fox Centre in Sudavik: www.ja.is

The conference tour will be a pre-tour, during the first day of the conference: Thursday 10th of October !
We expect to visit the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve by boat - it will be close to appr. 300 Euros per person. We will arrange the tour so that arctic foxes can be spotted easily, this will have to be arranged when we have studied the animals in the Nature Reserve during the summer ...
26.05.2010 - 09:16

International Conference on Arctic Fox Biology

From the conference in Sweden 2009
From the conference in Sweden 2009
The International Conference on Arctic Fox Biology will be held in Westfjords
October 11th to 13th 2013.

At the conference, we will honour the memory of late Prof. Pall Hersteinsson, who sadly passed away on October 11th 2011.

Following the Conference, a wildlife tour to Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is provided. Limited nr. of visitors will be able to attain the tour. If weather conditions prevent us to sail to the Nature Reserve, another tour will be organized - in order to be able to see some arctic foxes in natural surroundings. Note that 80% of arctic foxes in Westfjords are of the blue color morph and 20% of the white morph. 

More information about the conference and the post-con tours will be set out soon

here are photos from the last AF conference, held in Sweden 2009