Testimonies

Pas de contenu pour le moment

Nowadays Arctic wildlife is often endangered by climate changes and human activities, and they are not always very well known. The arctic fox is a small animal, white in Winter, living around the Arctic circle. In Siberia it has been little studied for now, but miniaturization progresses make it possible to track it by satellite using Argos, with some surprises with respect to the distances it can cross.

The Artic fox with its Argos tag (credits A. Sokolov)
The Artic fox with its Argos tag (credits A.Sokolov)

The arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) is found in the regions around North pole, either in America or Eurasia, Greenland and Iceland. As some other of the fauna of the area, the species is threatened in some territories (like Scandinavia). Because of climate change, the tundra is shrinking; and red fox is appearing from the boreal zone, and tend to dominate on arctic fox.

The artic foxes in Siberia have been scarcely studied, and their movements are mostly unknown. Studies in Canada have shown that about ten percent of the population moves long ways, but the question in open in Siberia. There, they might have a seasonality in their movements (Southwards at Fall, Northwards at Spring), but the scale and regularity of such movements still have to be proven. Thus the idea of using satellite wildlife tracking technologies to follow their movements, especially since small Argos PTTs are now available (the weight of a beacon must not be over 3% of the animal’s).

 

 

Tracks of the arctic fox from Vortuka and back, with distances and speeds. Note that when it crosses “water” it is in fact iced. (Credits IEC “Arctic”)

Track of the arctic fox marked at long-term monitoring site Erkuta, around Polar Ural and back, across the Yamal peninsula to Gydan peninsula, with distances and speeds. Note that when it crosses “water” it is in fact iced at this time of the year. (Credits A.Sokolov)

 

On March, 28, 2017 an arctic fox was trapped by the local hunter Takuchi Laptander. Together with the research team of Arctic Research Station of Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology (Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences) leaded by Dr. Aleksandr Sokolov, the animal was equipped with a satellite collar (Argos PTT from Es-Pas Ltd) at the Erkuta long-term monitoring site (68.2°N; 68.9°E), Southern Yamal, Russia. After release, the fox had stayed close from where it was trapped for 12 days. Then it performed several longer trips: it moved West over the Baidaratskaya Bay and around Polar Ural for a trip of about 300 km where it had stayed for 10 days in close vicinity of several populated localities. Then, it returned to the vicinity of the capture location and later moved East, over the Obskaya Bay and North to Gydan Peninsula. Overall the probably non-breeding arctic fox travelled extensively both over land and sea ice, covering at least 1000 km (700 km in a period of 30 days), before the signals stopped on the 25th of July.

 

References

Aleksandr Sokolov, Natalya Sokolova, Dorothee Ehrich, Ivan Fufachev, Vasiliy Sokolov and Takuchi Laptander. 2017. Long-distance movements of the first Siberian Arctic Fox equipped with satellite collar // 5th International Arctic Fox Conference (Université du Québec à, Rimouski, Canada, 12-15 October 2017): Progr. and Abst. – P. 75.

This pilot study was supported by RFBR-Yamal grant No. 16-44-890108. Collar was produced by “Es-Pas” Ltd. (Moscow). Price of the collars and satellite data were covered by IEC “Arctic” of Yamal government.

24.01.2019 Flash news Argos system contributes to Argo program milestone

Last month, the international Argo program reached a very important milestone: Over 2 million ocean profiles have been collected by Argo since 1999, greatly improving the understanding of the world’s oceans. The Argos satellite telemetry system has contributed to this success, by relaying 70% (1.5 million) of these precious ocean…
An eel in the sea with a pop-up tag. Credits G. Simon, Perpignan University

17.01.2019 Animal tracking applications Eels, long-range travellers

Eels, threatened by pollution, virus and parasites, overfishing, habitat loss and climate change have seen their population drop in the past decades. Their life and behaviour are studied to better understand the causes of this decrease. Their migration – when adults cross the Atlantic to the Sargasso Sea to reproduce…

08.01.2019 Animal tracking applications Argos system contributes to French National Action Plan to protect Marine turtles in the Caribbean

In the French West Indies, five turtle species are threatened. This includes the hawksbill turtle, green turtle, leatherback turtle, loggerhead turtle and olive Ridley turtle. Three of these species are tracked closely by national and local authorities. Protecting wildlife with Argos The Argos system is one of the prinicipal technologies…
shark fin

18.12.2018 Animal tracking applications Argos satellite telemetry, an important tool for conserving migratory sharks

The 3rd Meeting of the Signatories of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks took place from December 10-14th at the Museum for Oceanography of Monaco. It was hosted by the Principality of Monaco. This high-level meeting united government representatives, non-governmental organizations, conservationists, scientists…
EUCAW attendees

27.11.2018 Flash news The European User Conference on Argos Wildlife : A success

From November 21st to 22nd a group of biologists and Argos tag manufacturers from many countries gathered in Toulouse to share their work using the Argos system at the European Users Conference on Argos Wildlife (EUCAW). Presentations concentrated on more than 80 species and touched on topics as…
Forest elephant after attachment of PTT (Credits North Carolina Zoo)

23.11.2018 Animal tracking applications Argos helps to define a protected area for elephants in Cameroon

African elephants are under assault due primarily to the illicit ivory trade and, to a lesser extent, to habitat destruction and human incursions. Numbers are plummeting throughout most range states. Understanding elephant movement patterns, home ranges, land use patterns and corridor use are essential in developing conservation strategies.

20.11.2018 Flash news Argos-3 instrument successfully activated on EUMETSAT’s Metop-C satellite

On 16 November 2018, EUMETSAT’s control centre (European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites) successfully activated the Argos-3 instrument on the Metop-C satellite. The first signal received came from a beacon installed on a Senegalese fishing boat off Dakar, a tracking : first step for a sustainable management of…

20.11.2018 Animal tracking applications European Users Conference on Argos Wildlife

 Argos Forum #85 contents : Updates on Argos system & services Using Argos in the polar regions Tags & hardware Innovative techniques in bird tracking Using Argos to track the movements of large pelagics Long time-series of Argos data for historic bird studies Using Argos for research and conservation Future…

20.11.2018 Flash news European Users Conference on Argos Wildlife

  The European User Conference on Argos Wildlife will be held in Toulouse, France, on November 21st & 22nd, 2018.  Fifty users from 15 countries will present their fascinating projects for protecting biodiversity.   To discover the exciting work covered at this event, take a look at…
Whale shark with Argos tag (Photo S. Pierce)

12.11.2018 Animal tracking applications Whale sharks in Madagascar

Whale sharks are living in all the warm oceans of our planet. Population repartition and behavior still need to be understood, as well as their movements. Example of a new feeding area for juvenile whale sharks in Madagascar was described and their movements monitored using Argos PTTs. Whale sharks…