Marie-Jeanne Rioux

Université du Québec à Rimouski
M.Sc. candidate

Supervisor: Dominique Berteaux
Joël Bêty
Joël Bêty
Start: 2012-05-01
End: 2014-06-01


Spatial winter dynamics in arctic fox pairs at Bylot Island
Arctic ecosystem is affected by climate change. Although the Arctic ecosystem is one of the most affected by these changes, basic knowledge on species ecology is limited. Our ability to understand impacts of these changes on arctic wildlife is affected. The social dynamics and habitat use of arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) in winter is not well known, which limits our understanding of sea ice use by arctic foxes. The main objective of this project is to understand socio-spatial dynamics in arctic fox pairs during winter (September-February). The study area is located in southern plain of Bylot Island (Nunavut, Canada). The arctic fox population is followed since 1993 and more intensively since 2003. Every year, from May to August, about 100 dens are monitored. About 20 to 35 adult arctic foxes and 20 to 60 young are captured and tagged. Some arctic foxes are equipped with Argos satellite transmitters and 17 new collars were deployed in 2012. About twenty will be deployed in 2013. The satellite transmitters work during winter and allow us to study socio-spatial dynamics of arctic foxes pairs during several winters (about 20).