The Arctic fox lives in the treeless tundra of the circumpolar Arctic, including North America (Alaska and Canada), Greeland, Iceland, Asia and Scandanavia.
This species inhabits Arctic and alpine tundra, often near coasts.
- Head to tail length of about 43 inches (109 cm).
- Weigh 6-8 pounds (3-3.8 kg); males are bigger than females.
- Height of 10-12 inches (25-30 cm) from ground to shoulder.
- Arctic foxes come in two distinct color morphs; the most northern are pure white (white morph) and become a light brown in the summer to aid in camouflage. The other is the blue morph, which turns a dark grey/blue in the summer and obtains some white during the winter.
- Compared to other foxes, Arctic foxes have short legs and a stocky to prevent heat loss.
What Does It Eat?
In the wild: Small birds (puffins, murres), small mammals (lemmings, moles), fish, eggs, carrion (scavenge on dead animals), and plants.
At the zoo: Thawed rodents and birds, eggs, and vegetables.
What Eats It?
The Arctic fox is preyed upon by red foxes, bears, and wolves.
Arctic foxes live in small communal groups that are nomadic and are continually on the search for food. Each fall, family members go their own way to search for food in the winter. A breeding male and female, along with their young offspring and potentially older female offspring, form an Arctic fox pack.
Arctic foxes are sexually mature by the age of one and typically form monogamous pairs for life. Mating usually occurs in early Spring (March-April), and typically 6-12 pups are born 52 days later. Males will hunt for food while females den with and nurse the young. Pups are weaned off their mother’s milk when they are 45 days old, and can begin to eat meat when they are one month old. Pups begin to participate in hunts when they are three months old, and leave the pack when they are 6 months old. Arctic foxes, on average, live 3-5 years in the wild, although some may live 10 years. In captivity, Arctic foxes live up to 10 years.