Scavengers on reindeer carrion form an abundant and species rich guild of predators with potentially large ecosystem impact in Finnmark. Within the “ Arctic fox in Finnmark ” project we have deployed 48 carrion stations (see map),
where the we quantify the frequency of visits of predators on reindeer carrion by means of digital cameras. The study area includes gradients from forest line to highland tundra and from coastal to inland tundra so that we can quantify the effects of such environmental gradients on the structure of the scavenger guild. Moreover, the carrion stations are deployed in areas with and without control measures to reduce the abundance of red fox as to be able quantify the effect of this management measure on the structure of the scavenger guild and in particular on the abundance of the arctic fox.
The monitoring of scavengers by means of digital cameras has been run during three winters in Finnmark, and has formed the basis for one master thesis.The guild of scavengers will also be studied by means of the same method, (i.e. digital cameras on carrion stations) within the project ”Arctic predators”. In this project we will be comparing the species assemblage between different sites in the Eurasian arctic.