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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.
Our keepers give chats daily. Bring your questions and find out cool facts.
Zookeeper Life: Stephanie
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

Bad luck for wildlife: 7 Animal Superstitions

Whenever Friday the 13th rolls around, even the least superstitious of us might look askance at a black cat or shiver at an owl hoot. But animal superstitions, although fun, can cause pretty bad luck for the wildlife who cross their paths. After all, we live in a world where 350,000 tourists can visit Scotland … Continued

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Animal Athletes

Human athletes might be battling it out for medals at the Olympic Games in Japan this month, but here at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, we have our own incredible athletes to celebrate: our animals! Who can leap the furthest? Climb the highest? Who’s the fastest swimmer, the cleanest diver, the most agile? Check out … Continued

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Students Shovel Sand for Polar Bear

Students from Tacoma School District’s Science and Math Institute (SAMI) recently helped shovel a truckload of sand into Blizzard the polar bear’s habitat. “The sand cools off Blizzard in the hot summer weather and is soft on his feet, too,” said Assistant Curator Sheriden. “Blizzard loves having fresh sand every year and we really appreciate … Continued

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