The Arctic Fox Year 2013
Ester, our director, is now located in Tromso, N-Norway but we have helpers around who keep the centre open for visitors. We have had several good guests this winter and it´s good to see that people are willing to travel in this time of the year. Tromso is much further north than Westfjords of Iceland but people are fine with snowy roads, darkness and bad weather. We who live here in Westfjords should be more willing to tell others how great it is to be here in the winter time. The beauty of a still and calm winter day in Feb-Apr is one of the most magnificent experiences one can have. Furthermore, the winter moon, shining on the white mountain tops, mirrored in the calm fjords, decorated by northern lights - this is a breathtaking sight that everyone should have a chance to see and experience. We should remind us every now and then how lucky we are - and remember to tell the others to come and visit.
There are some opportunities for those who want to visit Westfjords in the winter, for example Heydalur and Borea Adventures but Fossavatn ski marathon and Aldrei fór ég suður are also quite exciting winter events. We in The Arctic Fox Centre are also delighted to hear about a new guesthouse in our village, that will hopefully be open next winter. Then we can offer more winter adventures in our area and we look forward. Ofcourse we are working in our matters all winter and we held several events during the Advent.
This year will be busy at the centre if everything will go as planned. We are organizing the research and volunteering programs for the summer. There are so many applications that unfortunately we will not be able to invite all of those who have applied. We have heard of some booking sin the fox watching tours and wildlife photographing seminar. The arctic fox monitoring program will proceed in collaboration with research institutes, the government and municipalities. The Hornstrandir monitoring will also continue and now we want to collect dropping samples for DNA analysis that we can preserve until later. This method has been conducted in Sweden and Norway where the species is endangered and difficult to get life-samples.
We have applied for some funds to be able to continue research and perhaps invite internship students from abroad. We have a lot of projects and some data to work on and if we can finance some research, we could start many interesting projects.
The Arctic Fox Café and the Culture Loft will also be busy this year and we will start early next summer with breakfast buffet. Conserts and art exhibitions as well as our puppet theatre and other interesting cultural events will be operating all summer. We have been told that BBC knows about us and our project and hopefully they will decide to document Icelandic arctic foxes and help us spread the knowledge.
Next fall we will proudly house The International Arctic Biology Conference where scientists from various countries will visit us and introduce the newest arctic fox research results.
We are working on the annual report of 2012 and it looks like 15.000 guests have visited The Arctic Fox Centre since we opened in June 2010. It is not much in global respect but if you think of the fact that 180 people live in Sudavik, we are proud and thankful for all the visits we have got.
You can hear more about us in BBC broadcast, channel 4 on February the 5th - guess it´s around 10PM. We are proud of our little project and we will do our best to proceed in the same way.