Why are arctic foxes endangered

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Arctic foxes under threat

why are arctic foxes endangered

Arctic foxes have several adaptations that allow them to survive. The Arctic fox is not listed, the San Joaquin kit fox is endangered and the swift fox is not listed.

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All rights reserved. It has furry soles, short ears, and a short muzzle—all-important adaptations to the chilly clime. Arctic foxes live in burrows, and in a blizzard they may tunnel into the snow to create shelter. Arctic foxes have beautiful white sometimes blue-gray coats that act as very effective winter camouflage. The natural hues allow the animal to blend into the tundra's ubiquitous snow and ice. When the seasons change, the fox's coat turns as well, adopting a brown or gray appearance that provides cover among the summer tundra's rocks and plants.

Despite being legally protected from hunting and persecution for several decades, the adult population of the Arctic fox in the Nordics has dropped to around individuals, making the animal highly endangered. In Finland, there have been only 5 to 10 sightings of the native Arctic tundra species each year of late, and wildlife management groups say the beautiful white animal has not nested in Finland for over 20 years. A WWF report from contained a nesting observation, and in , an attempt to nest was also recorded. This means that the Arctic fox species Vulpes lagopus — also known as the white fox, polar fox, or snow fox — is in danger of disappearing from the Nordic countries altogether. Before the animal was protected in , it was hunted almost to extinction for its thick and white-as-snow fur. Now it is threatened once again by climate change. The Arctic fox is losing ground to the larger red fox on the Nordic mainland.

Arctic fox

Vanessa and the Endangered Arctic Fox

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Map data provided by IUCN. The Arctic fox is primarily a carnivore that lives inland, away from the coasts. They are dependent on the presence of smaller animals most often lemmings to survive. Arctic foxes also hunt for sea birds, fish, and other marine life. Smaller rodent populations waver between times of abundance and scarcity, which leaves the Arctic fox vulnerable when these creatures are low in numbers.

The Arctic fox Vulpes lagopus , also known as the white fox , polar fox , or snow fox , is a small fox native to the Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere and common throughout the Arctic tundra biome. On average, Arctic foxes only live 3—4 years in the wild. The Arctic fox preys on many small creatures such as lemmings , voles , ringed seal pups, fish, waterfowl, and seabirds. It also eats carrion , berries, seaweed, and insects and other small invertebrates. Arctic foxes form monogamous pairs during the breeding season and they stay together to raise their young in complex underground dens. Occasionally, other family members may assist in raising their young.

Arctic foxes have several adaptations that allow them to survive. Their round, compact bodies minimize surface area that is exposed to the cold air. Their muzzle, ears, and legs are short, which also conserves heat. Of course, the defining feature of the Arctic fox is their deep, thick fur which allows them to maintain a consistent body temperature. Arctic foxes also have thick fur on their paws, which allows them to walk on both snow and ice. They have big ears, long bushy tails and furry toes that help to keep them cool in the hot and dry Central Valley environment. The swift fox is an indicator species — it can tell us a lot about the health of its grassland ecosystem.

Arctic Fox

The arctic fox is very well adapted to the extreme cold of the arctic environment and can be found all around the Arctic. Arctic foxes are monogamous, and each pair establishes a territory, or home range, which they use for several years. Arctic foxes have more young per litter than any wild mammal in the world. Toggle navigation. Language English. Key Facts.

Graduate student Alysa spends a lot of time in Hudson Bay studying northern species with Dr. Alysa McCall What animal lives in the Arctic, has four legs, thick white fur, travels across the sea ice to find food, and is being affected by climate change? The Arctic fox is a small mammal not much bigger than a house cat! To survive in this harsh habitat, the Arctic fox has some special adaptations. Its muzzle, legs and ears are short to prevent heat loss, and it has a thick layer of body fat and very thick fur to keep warm.


The Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus), also known as the white fox, polar fox, or snow fox, is a small .. The world population of Arctic foxes is thus not endangered, but two Arctic fox subpopulations are. One is on Medny Island (Commander Islands, .
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5 thoughts on “Why are arctic foxes endangered

  1. The Arctic fox is not endangered, but it (along with other northern animals) is currently facing a major problem: habitat shifts due to climate.

  2. The arctic fox is very well adapted to the extreme cold of the arctic species is good, except for the Scandinavian mainland population where it is endangered.

  3. Protect endangered species, including the arctic fox, at World Wildlife Fund. Learn about the ways WWF works to conserve a future where people live in.

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