Simultaneous Den Use by Arctic Foxes and Wolves at a Den Site in Nunavut, Canada

  • Christopher J. Hendrickson
  • Gustaf Samelius
  • Ray T. Alisauskas
  • Serge Larivière
Keywords: den use, interspecific interactions, coexistence, Alopex lagopus, Canis lupus


Arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) and wolves (Canis lupus) often use similar den sites. Interspecific interactions and competition for den sites are therefore possible among these species. At the Kangowan River in Nunavut, Canada, we observed arctic foxes and wolves simultaneously using a den site for pup-rearing during a two-day period in the summer of 2000. We also found evidence that both species had used the den site in May that year. Interspecific interactions in summer included avoidance, tolerance, and aggression. Foxes and wolves used separate entrances and did not appear to share a common space. Our observations of arctic foxes and wolves occupying a den site concurrently suggest that avoidance and interspecific tolerance may have facilitated coexistence at this den site.