The Beautiful Arctic Fox
Arctic Fox Description
The Arctic Fox is pure white so that it is able to blend into the snowy surroundings. The coat is very thick too because of the cold temperatures. It helps to keep the fox warm and the body temperature regulated. They have fur on the bottoms of their feet too. There is thick hair on the paws that also allows them to easily walk on top of the ice without slipping.
They have pointed ears and a long, slender nose. The tip of the nose and the eyes are very dark in contrast to all the white. They are thicker than other species of fox but this is because they have layers of fat that offer them additional insulation. During the warmer times of the year the white fur can turn to a shade of brown as well.
Arctic Fox Distribution
This species of fox is found only in the coldest regions of the Arctic. There are very few animals out there that are able to live in this type of environment.
Arctic Fox Behavior
Due to the extreme cold, the Arctic fox doesn’t just have a den out there. They have very complex tunneling systems underground. They use them for shelter, to hide from predators, and to care for their young.
These fox are more social than any other species. They work as a team to help care for the young. The females often stay in close proximity to their mothers even when they do establish their own territory. They even will come back when they have their own offspring to share responsibilities.
Arctic Fox Diet and Feeding
Due to the environment where the Arctic Fox lives, most of the time it has to find prey under the snow. They have a very good sense of hearing so this is no problem for them. They are very calculated in their hunting efforts. From above the snow this fox is able to pinpoint the exact location of the prey. Then they pounce on it through the snow.
It can be hard in such an isolated region to find food, so they aren’t picky. They will consume small mammals and eggs. Lemmings are the most common food source for them. When available they will consume young Ringed Seals. During certain times in the year they can also get fish out of the water to eat.
Arctic Fox Reproduction
When a pair of Artic Fox mate, they do so for life. The mating season for the Arctic Fox is a very long one. It spans from September through May of the following year. They have very large litters compared to other types of fox. They generally have from 5 to 8 young called kites. However, some litters have as many as 25 in them! The young are born in the summer in a den that the mother has created for them.
The mortality rate for these young is very high. Only a small number of them from each litter will survive to be mature themselves. They young are raised by both of their parents which is part of why they are able to learn how to hunt for food and to gain the strength they need for survival.
Arctic Fox Conservation
Conservation really isn’t a concern for the Arctic Fox. Since they live in regions where there are few people, there is really no problem with them being in jeopardy. In some areas they have been heavily hunted for their white fur coat though.
Arctic Fox Human interaction
It is very seldom that humans come into contact with the Artic Fox. However, there have been expeditions of people traveling to such regions for the thrill of hunting such a unique animal.