Arctic Fox Research Paper

Research at the Centre is supported by University Centre of the Westfjords, the Icelandic Institute of Natural History, and the Nordic project The Wild North.

The arctic fox is Iceland's only native terrestrial mammal.

Other features, such as short legs, a short muzzle and small rounded ears, help Arctic foxes battle the cold by reducing the amount of body surface area exposed to heat loss. To find prey during the winter, the Arctic fox uses its hearing and sense of smell to detect small animals that are active underneath the snow.

In Canada, the Arctic fox is found from the very top of Ellesmere Island in the north to the region around James Bay in the south.

Even though arctic foxes are protected by law today, their number still drops due to climate changes and because of the expansion of the range of red fox (it hunts the same prey like arctic fox).

Arctic fox is covered with thick white fur during the winter and grey-brownish fur during the summer.

Hunted for fur and for sport, the fox are also are seen as a threat to livestock and eider farms and as competition for the seabirds and seabird eggs that were an important traditional food source for Icelanders.

In 1295 hunters were hired to kill foxes in proportion to the number of sheep being farmed and government payment for fox corpses has continued in some form since then.

Even then, one-third of its length comes from its bushy tail.

During summer, the Arctic fox’s coat is brown or grey with a lighter-coloured belly. This change gives Arctic foxes camouflage throughout the year, making it harder for prey animals to spot them on the hunt, no matter the season.

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