(Last Updated On: April 15, 2021)

The Arctic fox, (or ‘white fox’, ‘polar fox’, ‘snow fox’), is Vulpes lagopus. It’s a small fox that lives within the Arctic. This article is all about arctic foxes.

All about arctic foxes

The fox is about 10-12 inches excessive (25–30 cm) and it weighs from 6.5 to 21 kilos (2.7-4.5 kg). The females are typically smaller than the males.

The Arctic fox has a spherical physique form, brief nostrils and legs, and brief, fluffy ears.

It has a deep thick fur which is brown in summer season and white in winter. Arctic foxes stay for about three to six years.

This fox can stay within the chilly north even when it’s -30F. Their thick fur retains them heat. The fur of the Arctic fox offers the most effective insulation of any mammal.

Its broad, fluffy paws let it stroll on ice and snow to search for meals. The Arctic fox has superb ears in order that it may well hear small animals beneath the snow.

When it hears an animal beneath the snow, it jumps and punches by way of the snow to catch its sufferer. The Arctic fox eats any meat it may well discover.

They eat lemmings, arctic hares, eggs, and lifeless bodies of animals. The foxes additionally eat crops typically.

Arctic foxes don’t hibernate. They develop thicker fur within the Autumn and placed on greater than 50% of their body weight as fats for insulation and as power reserves.

All about arctic foxes: Behavior

Arctic foxes should endure a temperature distinction of as much as 90-100 °C between the exterior atmosphere and their inside core temperature.

To forestall warmth loss, the Arctic fox curls up tightly tucking its legs and head beneath its physique and behind its furry tail.

This place provides the fox the smallest floor space to quantity ratio and protects the least insulated areas.

Arctic foxes additionally keep heat by getting out of the wind and residing in their dens. Though the Arctic fox is lively year-round and doesn’t hibernate, they try to protect fats by lowering their locomotor exercise.

They construct up their fats reserves within the autumn, typically rising their physique weight by greater than 50%.

This offers higher insulation in the course of the winter and supply of power when meals are scarce.

All about arctic foxes: Diet

Arctic foxes usually eat any small animal they will discover, together with lemmings, voles, different rodents, hares, birds, eggs, fish, and carrion.

They scavenge on carcasses left by bigger predators corresponding to wolves and polar bears, and in instances of shortage even eat their feces.

In areas the place they’re current, lemmings are their most typical prey, and a household of foxes can eat dozens of lemmings every day.

In some areas in northern Canada, an excessive seasonal abundance of migrating birds that breed within the space could present a vital meal supply.

On the coast of Iceland and different islands, their diet consists predominantly of birds.

Throughout April and May, the Arctic fox additionally preys on ringed seal pups when the younger animals are confined to a snow den and are comparatively helpless.

Additionally, they devour berries and seaweed, so they might be thought-about omnivores.

This fox is a major bird-egg predator, consuming eggs of all besides the biggest tundra chicken species. When meals are overabundant, the Arctic fox buries (caches) the excess as a reserve.

Arctic foxes survive harsh winters and meals shortage by both hoarding meals or storing physique fats. Fats are deposited subcutaneously and viscerally in Arctic foxes.

Initially of winter, the foxes have roughly 14740kJ of power storage from fats alone. Utilizing the bottom BMR worth measured in Arctic foxes, a mean sized fox (3.5 kg) would want 471kJ/day in the course of the winter to outlive.

Arctic foxes can purchase goose eggs (from higher snow geese in Canada) at a fee of two.7-7.3eggs/h, and so they retailer 80-97% of them.

Scats present proof that they eat the eggs in the course of the winter after caching. Isotope evaluation reveals that eggs can nonetheless be eaten after a yr, and the metabolizable power of a saved goose egg solely decreases by 11% after 60 days (a contemporary egg has about 816kJ).

Researchers have additionally famous that some eggs saved in the summertime are accessed later the next spring previous to reproduction.

All about arctic foxes: Variations

The Arctic fox lives in among the most frigid extremes on the planet, however, they don’t begin to shiver till the temperature drops to −70 °C (−94 °F).

Amongst its variations for survival within the chilly is its dense, multilayered pelage, which offers glorious insulation. Moreover, the Arctic fox is the one canid whose footpads are lined in fur.

There are two genetically distinct coat coloration morphs: white and blue.

Within the winter the white morph is white in coloration and turns brown alongside the again with gentle gray across the stomach in the summer.

The blue morph is usually a darkish blue, brown, or gray coloration year-round.

Though the blue allele is dominant over the white allele, 99% of the Arctic fox inhabitants is the white morph. The fur of the Arctic fox offers the most effective insulation of any mammal.

The fox has low floor space to quantity ratio, as evidenced by its usually compact physique form, brief muzzle and legs, and brief, thick ears.

Since much less of its floor space is uncovered to the Arctic chilly, much less warmth escapes from its body.

All about arctic foxes: Distribution and habitat

The Arctic fox has a circumpolar distribution and happens in Arctic tundra habitats in northern Europe, northern Asia, and North America.

Its vary contains Greenland, Iceland, Fennoscandia, Svalbard, Jan Mayen, and different islands within the Barents Sea, northern Russia, islands within the Bering Sea, Alaska, and Canada as far south as Hudson Bay.

Within the late 19th century, it was launched into the Aleutian Islands southwest of Alaska.

Nonetheless, the inhabitants on the Aleutian Islands are presently being eradicated in conservation efforts to protect the native chicken inhabitants.

It principally inhabits tundra and packs ice, however can be current in boreal forests in Canada and the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska.

They’re discovered at elevations as much as 3,000 m (9,800 ft) above sea stage and have been seen on sea ice near the North Pole.

The Arctic fox is the one land mammal native to Iceland. It got here to the remote North Atlantic island on the finish of the final ice age, strolling over the frozen sea.

The Arctic Fox Heart in Súðavík incorporates an exhibition on the Arctic fox and conducts research on the effect of tourism on the inhabitants.

Its vary during the last ice age was rather more in-depth than it’s now, and fossil stays of the Arctic fox have been discovered over a lot of northern Europe and Siberia.

The color of the fox’s coat additionally determines the place they’re most certainly to be discovered.

The white morph primarily lives inland and blends in with the snowy tundra, whereas the blue morph occupies the coasts as a result of its darkish coloration blends in with the cliffs and rocks.

Sensory modalities

The Arctic fox has a useful listening to vary between 125 Hz–16 kHz with a sensitivity that’s ≤ 60 dB in air, and a mean peak sensitivity of 24 dB at Four kHz.

General, the Arctic foxes listening to is much less delicate than the canine and the package fox.

The Arctic fox and the package fox have a low upper-frequency restriction in comparison with the home canine and different carnivores.

The Arctic fox can simply hear lemmings burrowing beneath 4-5 inches of snow. When it has situated its prey, it pounces and punches by way of the snow to catch its sufferer.

The Arctic fox additionally has a keen sense of scent. They’ll scent carcasses which are usually left by polar bears wherever from 10–40 km.

It’s attainable that they use their sense of scent to additionally monitor down polar bears.

Moreover, Arctic foxes can scent and discover frozen lemmings beneath 46–77 cm of snow and may detect a subnivean seal lair beneath 150 cm of snow.

All about arctic foxes: Reproduction

Within the spring, the Arctic fox’s consideration switches to replica and a house for his or her potential offspring.

They stay in massive dens on frost-free, barely raised floor.

These are advanced programs of tunnels protecting as many as 1,000 m2 (1,200 sq yd) and are sometimes in eskers, lengthy ridges of sedimentary materials deposited in previously glaciated areas.

These dens could also be in existence for a lot of many years and are utilized by many generations of foxes.

Arctic foxes have a tendency to pick dens that are simply accessible with many entrances, and which are clear from snow and ice making it simpler to burrow in.

The Arctic fox builds and chooses dens that face southward in the direction of the solar, which makes the den hotter.

Arctic foxes choose massive, maze-like dens for predator evasion and a fast escape particularly when pink foxes are within the space.

Natal dens are sometimes present in rugged terrain, which can present extra safety for the pups.

However, the mother and father can even relocate litters to close-by dens to keep away from predators.

When pink foxes should not within the area, Arctic foxes will use dens that the pink fox beforehand occupied.

Shelter high quality is extra vital to the Arctic fox than the proximity of spring prey to a den.

The primary prey within the tundra is lemmings, which is why the white fox is usually referred to as the “lemming fox.”

The white fox’s replica charges replicate the lemming inhabitants’ density, which cyclically fluctuates each 3-5years.

When lemmings are considerable, the white fox can provide beginning to 18 pups, however, they usually don’t reproduce when meals are scarce.

The “coastal fox” or blue fox lives in an atmosphere the place meal availability is comparatively constant, and they’re going to have as much as 5 pups yearly.

Breeding often takes place in April and Might, and the gestation interval is about 52 days. Litters could comprise as many as 25 (the biggest litter measurement within the order Carnivora).

The younger emerge from the den when Three to Four weeks outdated and are weaned by 9 weeks of age.

Arctic foxes are primarily monogamous and each mother and father will look after the offspring.

When predators and prey are considerable, Arctic foxes usually tend to be promiscuous (exhibited in each male and females) and show extra advanced social buildings.

Bigger packs of foxes consisting of breeding or non-breeding males or females can guard a single territory extra proficiently to extend pup survival.

When assets are scarce, competitors will increase and the variety of foxes in a territory decreases.

On the coasts of Svalbard, the frequency of advanced social buildings is bigger than inland foxes that stay monogamous on account of food availability.

In Scandinavia, there are extra advanced social buildings in comparison with different populations because of the presence of the pink fox.

Additionally, conservationists are supplying declining inhabitants with supplemental meals.

One distinctive case, nonetheless, is Iceland the place monogamy is essentially the most prevalent.

The older offspring (1-year-olds) usually stay inside their mum or dad’s territory although predators are absent and there are fewer assets, which can point out kin choice within the fox.

all about arctic foxes

All about arctic foxes: Migrations and journey

In the course of the winter, 95.5% of Arctic foxes make the most of commuting journeys, which stay inside the fox’s dwelling vary.

Commuting journeys in Arctic foxes final lower than Three days and happen between 0-2.9 instances a month.

Nomadism is present in 3.4% of the foxes, and loop migrations (the place the fox travels to a brand new vary, then returns to its dwelling vary) are the least frequent at 1.1%.

Arctic foxes in Canada that endure nomadism and migrations voyage from the Canadian archipelago to Greenland and northwestern Canada.

The length and distance traveled between women and men just aren’t considerably completely different.

Arctic foxes nearer to goose colonies (situated on the coasts) are much less more likely to migrate.

In the meantime, foxes experiencing low-density lemming populations usually tend to make sea ice journeys.

Residency is frequent within the Arctic fox inhabitants in order that they will preserve their territories.

Migratory foxes have a mortality fee >Three instances increased than resident foxes. Nomadic habits turn more frequent as the foxes age.


The Arctic Fox is a small white fox native to the Arctic areas of the Northern Hemisphere.

The Arctic fox can be generally referred to as the white fox, polar fox, or snow fox

The Arctic fox is present in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia, and Russia.

In the summertime, the arctic fox lives within the tundra on the fringe of the forest. Within the winter, it’s discovered on ice floes the place its white coat serves as camouflage.

The Arctic Fox is nicely tailored to dwelling in chilly environments.

When their ranges overlap, the pink fox will compete with the Arctic fox for den websites driving them out of the area.

An Arctic Fox can survive in extraordinarily low temperatures, typically attain as little as -50 °C (-58 °F)!

The Arctic fox can run at a pace of around 48 kilometers (30 miles) per hour.

It has furry soles, brief ears, and a brief muzzle—all-important variations to the chilly clime.

The arctic fox has a thick, multi-layered fur coat that gives glorious insulation in opposition to the chilly.

Arctic foxes stay a communal and nomadic life, usually forming small bands to scavenge for meals.

They use their voice most frequently in the course of the breeding season however can even yelp to warn its younger of hazard.

Additionally, they use a high-pitched, undulating whine when disputing territory with neighboring foxes.

Arctic foxes are inclined to kind monogamous pairs within the breeding season and preserve a territory across the den. Breeding often takes place in April and Might, and the gestation interval is about 52 days.

Litters are inclined to common 5 to eight kits, however, exceptionally comprise as many as 25 (the biggest litter measurement within the order Carnivora).

They construct up their fats reserves within the autumn, typically rising their physique weight by greater than 50%.

This offers higher insulation in the course of the winter and a source of power when meals are scarce.

Arctic foxes have an incredible sense of scent and glorious listening. Their small, pointy ears can hear their prey transferring round in underground tunnels.

When an Arctic fox hears its subsequent meal scurrying beneath the snow, it leaps into the air and pounces, breaking by way of the layer of snow proper onto the prey beneath.

Like a cat, this fox’s thick tail aids its steadiness. However, for an arctic fox, the tail is particularly helpful as a heat cowl in a chilly climate.

They use their thick bushy tail to wrap around themselves.

The arctic fox is darkish grey to brown to bluish-brown in the summertime. Within the winter, its fur is white or creamy white.

Arctic foxes don’t hibernate and are lively all yr spherical.

Arctic foxes stay in massive dens. These are advanced programs of tunnels protecting as many as 1,000 sq. meters(10,750 sq. toes).

They have a number of entrances and should have been in existence for a lot of many years and utilized by many generations of foxes.

They’re primarily a carnivore and their weight loss program varies from one a part of their vary to a different.

The lifespan of the Arctic Fox is from Three to six years within the wild and as much as 14 years in captivity.

The pinnacle-and-body size of the male is from 46 to 68 centimeters (18 to 27 inches), whereas the feminine is from 41 to 55 centimeters (16 to 22 inches). The tail is about 30 centimeters (12 inches) lengthy in each sex.

The peak on the shoulder is 25 to 30 centimeters (9.8 to 11.8 inches).

The load for males is from 3.2 to 9.4 kilograms (7.1 to 20.7 kilos), whereas females weigh from 1.4 to three.2 kilograms (3.1 to 7.1 kilos).

Arctic foxes usually eat any small animal they will discover, together with lemmings, voles, different rodents, hares, birds, eggs, fish, and carrion.

I hope this article on all about arctic foxes was worthy to you.

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