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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

Save our sea ice

Mid-summer might seem like an odd time to think about ice, unless it’s in your drink. But as the planet gets hotter, our sea ice – which animals like polar bears, walrus, seals and Arctic fox need to survive – is vanishing. July 15 is Arctic Sea Ice Day, a great day to think about … Continued

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He’s a boy! Help name our muskox calf

He head-butted some rocks. He tasted some clover. Then he galloped back down the hillside to mom. Yes, it’s official – our baby muskox calf is a boy, and now his fans get to vote on his name. (UPDATE: Voting closed 12pm July 8.) The veterinary and animal care team confirmed the sex last Friday … Continued

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Muskox calf born at the Zoo

It’s a boy! Or maybe a girl! Whatever the gender, it’s pretty perfect timing for a birth announcement. Early Sunday morning at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Charlotte, a 621-pound muskox, gave birth to a calf, just as the Zoo was preparing to announce its June 18 reopening under Phase 2 of the governor’s Safe … Continued

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