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Arctic Fox / Polar Fox

Unfortunatly we do not have polar foxes now.

2016-04-0214:48 Polar Park

Unfortunately, it is not possible to visit the polar fox inside the enclosure at this moment. We will update the information as we go, so keep an eye on our page.

Read about FoxVisit here 

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 is common throughout the Arctic tundra biome. 

It is well adapted to living in cold environments. It has a deep thick fur which is brown in summer and white in winter.

It averages in size at about 85 cm in body length, with a generally rounded body shape to minimize the escape of body heat. 

They prey on any small animals they can find, including lemmings, voles, ringed seal pups, fish, seabirds, and bird eggs. They will also eat carrion, berries, and seaweed.  

They form monogamous pairs during the breeding season and usually stay together in family groups of multiple generations in complex underground dens.

The arctic fox lives in some of the most frigid environments on the planet. Among its adaptations for cold survival is its deep, thick fur, a system of countercurrent heat exchange in the circulation of paws to retain core temperature, and a good supply of body fat.

 

The fox has a low surface area to volume ratio, as evidenced by its generally rounded body shape, short muzzle and legs, and short, thick ears. Since less of its surface area is exposed to the arctic cold, less heat escapes the body. Its furry paws allow it to walk on ice in search of food. The arctic fox has such keen hearing that it can precisely locate the position of prey under the snow.  

When it finds prey, it pounces and punches through the snow to catch its victim. Its fur changes colour with the seasons: in the winter it is white to blend in with snow, while in the summer it is brown.

See more informations about polar foxes here 

POPULATION STATUS 

The Arctic fox is now one of the most endangered mammals, and it is listed as endangered in the National Red List, and one expects today that the population of arctic foxes in Norway does not count more than approx. 50 adult individuals.

In Sweden, the population is expected to be approximately the same, while in Finland there probably exists only 5-10 adult animals again. 

ARCTIC FOX FACTS: 

Sientific name: Vulpes lagopus * 

Distribution: Circumpolar 

Length: without a tail up to 55 cm, tail up to 30 cm 

Weight: 3-6 kg, varies throughout the year. Males slightly larger than females, otherwise similar. 

Biology: Females mature in first year of life. They are pregnant approx. 53 days, 4-8 pups in May-June 

Diet: The Arctic fox is an opportunist who eats almost everything it comes across. The main food sources are rodents, especially lemmings. Carcasses of reindeer are also important, especially in years with few lemmings. Hare, bird eggs, berries, plants and food waste from humans are also eaten. 

Age: Up to 15 years 

* The scientific species name for fox, lagopus comes from the Ancient Greek word for hare (lagos) and foot (pous): The hare foot has much hair underneath, as arctic fox┬┤s paws have.

Trevor Wagland

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