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Arctic fox

Did you know?

Vulpes lagopus

Arctic foxes can definitely deal with cold weather! They have thick, heavy tails for extra cover, and grow thicker fur in winter. And in a blizzard they can tunnel under the snow to keep warm.

Discover Arctic fox

Habitat
Wild and Zoo
With thick fur that turns white in winter to camouflage in snow, Arctic foxes live in treeless tundra throughout the Arctic: Eurasia, North America, Greenland and Iceland. Find ours here in the Arctic Tundra.
Arctic Tundra
Meet the Keeper
Find out more.
Meet our keepers at the daily Polar Bear chats next door to our foxes! Bring your questions and find out cool facts.
See daily schedule
Eating
(and predators!)
Arctic foxes eat small mammals (especially lemmings), insects, berries, carrion, marine invertebrates, sea birds and fish.
Their predators include polar bears, wolves, golden eagles, grizzly bears and humans.
Leaving home early
Mating for life.
Arctic foxes mate for life. Females give birth in spring to a litter of 5-10 pups, depending on food availability.
Pups are raised in the parents’ burrow and are independent after about 6 months.
A skulk of foxes
Storing for winter.
A group of Arctic foxes is called a “skulk” or a “leash”, a social group that include a mating pair, their litter and a few helper females.
They dig burrows with multiple entrances, and store extra food during summer to eat in winter.

Protecting Arctic animals

A changing climate.

THE THREAT: Scarcity of prey, human hunting and pollution from oil and gas drilling are the main threats to the Arctic fox. Climate change, caused by human reliance on fossil fuels, is also radically changing the Arctic habitat.

TAKE ACTION: We can help slow climate change – and our reliance on oil and gas – by reducing our carbon footprint. Driving and idling less, lowering your thermostat and using LED bulbs are good ways to begin.

Arctic Stories

Partnering for Polar Bears

Glue? Tape? Dye? It’s all part of our mission to help protect polar bears in the wild, with a new scientific study that Zoo guests may soon watch in action. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, with its beloved polar bears Boris and Blizzard, has worked for years with the non-profit Polar Bears International (PBI) to … Continued

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Polar Bear Ambassador

It’s a long way from Tacoma, Washington to Churchill, Manitoba: about 1,420 miles as the crow flies, at least eight hours by plane. There’s no road. In icy isolation on Canada’s Hudson Bay, it’s a world away from the lush, evergreen Puget Sound region. The thing the two towns have in common? Polar bears – … Continued

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Polar Bear Skype

It looked like a regular school assembly – until they brought out the polar bear skull. On a gray November afternoon, the kids at Arlington Elementary School in Tacoma’s south end filed into the gym. Excited voices rose and fell as staff from Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium connected technology on the stage. Then a … Continued

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Who's Nearby?
Love our fox? Then look out for our muskoxen, which roam the big tundra habitat nearby.