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Canada's Species   Mammals

Arctic Fox

Alopex lagopus

Photo:Canadian Museum of Nature
Arctic Fox. Photo:Canadian Museum of Nature

With its biannual molts from brown to white (or, in some cases, bluish-grey), the arctic fox is well adapted to its northern environment. These foxes survive primarily upon a diet of lemmings during the summer, but shift towards carrion in winter. This carrion is usually obtained by trailing timber wolves or polar bears, and arctic foxes have reached the remotest islands by following polar bears across the frozen seas. Arctic fox population patterns are closely related to fluctuations in the lemming population, and a crash in fox numbers often occurs the year following a lemming crash.

Map of Arctic Fox in Canada
Distribution of Arctic Fox in Canada

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