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Foods of arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) during winter and spring in western Alaska

Journal of Mammalogy

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Abstract

During 1986-1991, carcasses of 619 arctic fares (Alopex lagopus) collected from local trappers and at biological field camps on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in western Alaska from November through May were analyzed to determine gastrointestinal contents, age, sex, and body condition. Prey in declining order of importance were small mammals (95% tundra voles, Microtus oeconomus), birds, marine mammals, and fishes. Foxes with small mammal remains in their stomachs were captured farther from the Bering Sea coast ((X) over bar = 5.2 km) than those without small-mammal remains (2.8 km); foxes consuming remains of marine mammals were closer to the coast (1.9 km) than others (4.9 km). Although eggshells had a poor likelihood of occurrence in stomachs, they were found in all months and years. In 1986 and 1987, foxes consumed fewer small mammals than in other years. Mean ages of foxes captured in 1986 (3.7 years) and 1987 (3.2) were greater than in all ether years (1.5). Capture of adults was more common as winter progressed. Indexes of subcutaneous fat decreased annually in April-May and were highest in 1991, when occurrence of carrion of marine mammals was highest.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Foods of arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) during winter and spring in western Alaska
Series title:
Journal of Mammalogy
Volume
81
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2000
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Alaska Biological Science Center
Description:
pp. 820-828
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
820
Last page:
828
Number of Pages:
9