Scientific Name: alopex lagopus
Habitat: arctic, alpine tundra
Diet: lemmings, voles, insects, berries, carrion, invertebrates, sea birds, eggs, fish
Life Span: 3 years (7 – 10 years in captivity)
Young: 6 – 12 young/litter
Size: 2.5 – 7 kg
The Arctic Fox can be found throughout the tundra in the Arctic regions of Eurasia, North America, Greenland, and Iceland.
The Arctic Fox lives in some of the most frigid extremes on the planet and is well adapted to its climate. It changes color with the seasons; it is white in the winter to blend in with snow, and tan to dark brown in the summer to blend into the rocks and lichen. It’s dense and multi-layered fur provides excellent insulation. It has a compact body shape, with short muzzle and legs, and short, thick ears giving it less surface area to expose to the Arctic cold. It also has a keenly developed sense of hearing, allowing it to hear prey beneath the snow.
The Arctic fox is nomadic and does not hibernate during the winter. A family of foxes, usually consisting of a male, two females, and a litter of pups, live together in a den.
They are known to eat any small animal they can find: lemmings, voles, other rodents, hares, birds, eggs, fish, and carrion. They also scavenge on carcasses left by larger predators. Lemmings are their most common prey.
For more information about the Arctic Fox visit Animal Diversity Web, or come visit the Edmonton Valley Zoo!