rctic Human footprint on the Arctic Fox
April 28, 2011
I wanted to do my research on an animal that was not all that common. We hear all the time about if we don’t stop doing this or this then there won’t be any more Polar Bears, etc. But there are so many other species out there that we never hear about that really might have a bigger impact on humans if they become extinct. So that is why I choose to do my project over Arctic Foxes.
Slide MM #2
The Arctic Fox (Alopex lagopus) is the smaller ‘cousin’ of the perhaps more familiar Red Fox. The Arctic Fox has thick fur, large fat reserves, and specialized heat-retaining circulatory systems in their feet to help them survive the harsh winters of the Arctic. (Arctic Fox Alopex lagopus 1)They also change their color of fur from white in the winter to gray/brown in the summer to blend into their environment. (Tannerfeldt 1-2)
Arctic Foxes breed at the end of winter and birth takes place in the early summer in underground dens. A single den may host several generations of foxes. Arctic Foxes’ litter sizes are dependent on the food supply. (Arctic Fox Alopex lagopus 3)
Slide MM #3
The largest threat to the Arctic Fox from climate change is a loss of the tundra habitat that the species inhabits. As warming temperatures allow new plant species from the south to colonize the region, large extents of tundra habitat are slowly being replaced by forest. Forest habitat is known to be highly unsuitable for Arctic Foxes. The Arctic Fox has relatively bad eye sight and is out hunted by too many species in the forest to be able to live in them.
With the warmer temperatures also bring the Arctic Fox’s greatest predator and competitor the Red Fox further north. Red Foxes are superior hunters to Arctic Foxes and are known to prey on Arctic Foxes, forcing the Arctic Fox further north. (McLaughlin 2-3)
Slide MM #5
Numbers of Arctic rodents, particularly lemmings, which make up...
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