Persistent nestor in arctic fox research
Sweden’s nestor in arctic fox research is Professor Anders Angerbjörn of Stockholm University. He believes that the number of arctic foxes in the mountains could be doubled with the right measures. Anders and his colleagues’ persistent work comprises both research and concrete support measures.
In 2015, Anders is celebrating working with the arctic fox for 30 years. His path within ecology started with the smooth coastal rocks of Bohuslän, but he soon turned his attention towards the possibility of studying a northern species in the never-fading light of the summer months in the mountains. To his great joy he found the arctic fox, which both fascinated him and needed to be researched. He was also able to get really close to the foxes, and see how different they were as individuals, which intrigued Anders even further. His fascination for the little creatures is still intact today and every year he is out inventorying and studying old and new dens, even if this isn’t one of his primary tasks as a researcher.
The best aspect of arctic fox research, according to Anders, is the progress that has been made, and also the many trips and experiences he has had in the wilderness. Vindelfjällen was the place where he first came in contact with our Scandinavian arctic fox and this is one of the places that Anders willingly returns to every year.
Likes clear air
Anders likes “clear air”, both in the form of a clear day in the mountains when the air is easy to breathe, and also in respect to discussions and debates. Anders believes that if you cannot see things clearly and be open as well, and dare to discuss others’ opinions, you will not get far. It is also qualities such as independence, persistence and the ability to roll up ones sleeves and get on with things, even when they are difficult, that Anders is looking for in the volunteers and students that he selects for the Save the Arctic Fox Project.
Stubbornness will win in the end
Anders stresses that it is his ability to persist and stubbornly but steadily keep moving forward that has been a deciding factor in his success in helping the arctic fox through its desperate struggle for survival. Anders works in the same style as he treks through the mountains: not particularly quickly but steadily, continuously making progress and he ends up going just as far if not further as those who start off running. But, a successful result is seldom due to legwork, it is the work done in the head that is important.
Anders’ goal now is to future-proof the Save the Arctic Fox Project. He has “no longer chosen the arctic fox – the arctic fox has now chosen me”, he says. He is working hard so those who will eventually take over from him in the Swedish arctic fox research will be able to work in the long term in stable financial conditions for many years to come.