From Chris Buddle, who has been working with Team Moose in Iqaluit:
Update from Team Moose in Iqaluit
Iqaluit has been great – although we had a few days of rain and cold, the weather has mostly been cooperative and the sampling has been spectacular. On the warm days the butterflies, bumble bees, and wolf spiders have been incredibly active. So too have been the swarms of mosquitoes!
The team has serviced terrestrial traps once, and the samples look terrific. Although the malaise heads are not full of tabanids, they are certainly brimming with a high diversity of flies. One of our more exciting finds was a nest of the Arctic Yellowjacket (Dolichovespula norwegica)– this species has been found in Iqaluit before, but we now have “official” specimens, and are confident this species is overwintering in the tundra.
The aquatic sampling is also very productive: the ponds are full of Trichoptera, and although the mayflies and stoneflies are not large, they are abundant. Patrick has been overjoyed with the black fly collecting – in one day the team managed to collect black flies from at least ten different streams and rivers – ranging from tiny seeps emerging from the tundra to the impressive Sylvia Grinnell River, located just beside the Iqaluit Airport runway.
We have also enjoyed a lot of local media coverage, including a TV spot on CBC north’s news program “Northbeat”. Chris Buddle did a public talk at Nunavut Arctic College that was well attended by entomology “enthusiasts” in town! The team is also spending time with a kid’s Science Camp to talk about entomology. Needless to say, the team has felt very welcome in Iqaluit, and there is a lot of local interest in topics related to insects and spiders of the North. We are especially thankful for the Nunavut Research Institute (see: http://www.nri.nu.ca/ ) for logistical support, and for help from Jamal Shirley.
If you’d like to check out the CBC TV feature, click here (the clip is about 2/3 of the way through the program)
Update from Team Goose at Lake Hazen
Team Moose has been in contact (via Satellite phone) with Team Goose, currently at Lake Hazen. Although they were two days delayed in Resolute Bay, the team arrived at Hazen and they have already set all their terrestrial traps. On one day they reported temperatures of 15C (warmer than in Iqaluit!) and they also reported mosquito activity that day. They report that “Camp Hazen” is quite comfortable considering the remoteness of the site, and their spirits are high. They are, however, finding access to good aquatic sites somewhat difficult, and the streams and rivers are not that productive. Three members of the team (Sarah, Meagan, Christine) also took a (quick and soap-free) swim in Hazen! Floating among the ice floes….brrrrr.