Frozen fauna – Frossen fauna

Hunting high and low

By Jørgen Rosvold
Park ranger Per A. Lorentzen (Statskog) investigating a snow patch in Susendalen. Photo: Jørgen Rosvold

Well, when it comes to snow patches the hunting is mostly high. In Norway, stable patches usually reside well over 1000 meters above sea level. So that is where we need to perform our field works. This usually entails long and steep hikes in rugged terrain, with heavy backpacks and rapidly changing weather conditions.

Left: Erik Nordberg (Saemien Sijte) and Martin E. Callanan (NTNU University Museum) ascending the steep and foggy grounds towards a small glacier in Kilskardet. Right: Harald B. Midthjell (Sami Parliament) climbing the slippery slopes near a glacier at Krutfjellet. Photos: Jørgen Rosvold, NTNU University Museum

In addition to exciting finds and good health, the rewards are fantastic panoramic sights of the beautiful surrounding mountain environments. Most of the potential sites are situated within National Parks.

Panoramic view of the partially snow covered landscape of Børgefjell National Park. Photo: Jørgen Rosvold

Snow has now fallen in most mountain areas of Norway, ending the field season of 2014. We are very grateful to the many park rangers and interested private persons who have aided our field surveys, notified us about finds and provided local information. This has been a productive season for snow patch finds, with many new sites and increasing the number of recorded species to at least 15 birds and mammals, as well as one fish! Now it is time to pry some data out of all the finds. The season of lab work, dating and scientific writing has begun.

This year we have begun a good collaboration with Sami institutions within traditionally South Sami districts. Posing in front of the snow patches at Krutfjellet is (left to right) Harald B. Midthjell (Sami Parliament), Erik Nordberg (Saemien Sijte) and Jørgen Rosvold (NTNU University Museum). Photo: Jørgen Rosvold, NTNU University Museum

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