This iconic species is the largest predator of the Arctic and one of four terrestrial mammals found on the islands, the others being Arctic fox, Svalbard reindeer and the tiny southern vole, which is only found on the island of Grumant
. The sea ice and shore around the Svalbard archipelago is home to nearly a thousand polar bears which gather in large groups around the islands each summer when shrinking ice in the fjords reduces the amount of available habitat for these apex predators.
The distribution of sibling voles on the island seems to be limited by availability of plants for food and is at present restricted to the heavily fertilized bird cliffs along the coastline in the Grumant area (, Figure).
Fox feces were also collected in the Grumant area in 2004.
Eight line transects were placed in Grumant (total length 118 m), and 10 transects of 20 m each (total length 200 m) were placed in Adventdalen, next to Longyearbyen and 15 km east of Grumant.
multilocularis-positive proportion within the core vole range Grumant was high, but from the nearby Bjorndalen and more distant areas on Nordenskiold Land, no feces contained E.
The density of fox feces in Grumant was estimated to be 4.5 feces per 100 (m.sup.2) (95% confidence interval 1.7-12.0).
multilocularis-positive feces and a high density of arctic fox feces in the Grumant area suggests that this is an area of high risk for human infection.
We thank the Norklim a research program of the Norwegian Research Council, and the governor of Svalbard for funding the study in Grumant; the Norwegian Polar Institute for support for the arctic fox den surveys in Svalbard; and N.