The arctic fox, also known as the white fox, polar fox or snow fox, is a small fox native to Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere and is common throughout the Arctic tundra biome. Arctic fox babies are called either pups or kits. The Arctic fox is an incredibly resilient animal that can live in temperatures as low as -59° F and as warm as temperatures we experience in Southern California.
Photo credits: Aquarium of the Pacific
It survives in extreme temperatures thanks to its thick fur, furry soles, short ears, and short muzzle. During the winter months, white phase Arctic fox have white coats that serve as camouflage against the vast stretches of snow and ice in their native Arctic region.
When the seasons change, their coats change to a brown or blue-gray appearance that allows them to blend in with the summer’s landscape. Blue phase fox, more common in the species’ southern habitat range, remain charcoal-colored year round. Young of each color phase may occur in the same litter.
Climate change poses a threat to the Arctic fox, impacting their habitat and food sources. Consequently the International Union for Conservation of Nature has included them on their Red List of Threatened Species and on a list of ten species that are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.