INTERREG BOTNIA-ATLANTICA AND INTERREG NORD 2014-2020 44 if it had not been for Felles Fjellrev, David concludes David is happy with the results of Felles Fjellrev Nord II so far – but the situation is still critical. – We have generally seen a positive development in Sweden and Norway in recent years. But in the northernmost parts, the situation is still so bad that if we lose individual animals, the entire subpopulation may go extinct. The situation is particularly difficult in Finland, where no puppies have been born since the mid-nineties. But now there are growing hopes that the mountain fox will be able to re-establish itself in the country again, due to support feeding and red fox hunting. Norwegian authorities have also chosen to release arctic foxes raised in captivity in the border regions of Norway, Finland, and Sweden. – Unfortunately there are no pups yet in Finland, but our hope is that the food supply will be better and that we will soon get a first Finnish litter in almost 30 years, says Tuomo Ollila, the Finnish project manager at Metsähallitus. The arctic fox is not just of interest to the Scandinavian countries. The species is included in the Species Protection Ordinance and the Berne Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats. It has been designated a flagship species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it. – We have a special responsibility for the artic fox in Europe, says David Bell. In the project, the cooperation between Sweden, Finland and Norway is working very well, says David. The three countries are working together, across national borders. – We follow population development with a common and standardised inventory methodology. We also support-feed the artic fox and hunt red fox on all sides of the border. The project also creates natural forums for discussions on important issues. – We meet regularly and exchange experiences. That makes us less vulnerable. There is a lot of knowledge and experience to build on, says David. Did you know… Felles means common in Norwegian. Fjellrev is the Norwegian word for arctic fox. The arctic fox doesn’t care about national or county boundaries. This means we must cooperate across borders says David Bell, project manager of Interreg Nord project Felles Fjellrev Nord II at the County Administrative Board of Norrbotten.