Arctic Fox

Arctic Fox
Arctic Fox
Jeff Foott/DCI

This fox is the only canid with a coat that changes color seasonally; its winter coat is white and its summer coat is blue-gray or gray-brown.

A nocturnal burrower, the arctic fox is occasionally seen by day hunting small mammals.


Its diet also includes birds and their eggs, carrion, and berries.

In years when food is scarce, arctic fox populations decline and no young are produced.

Animal Facts

Name: Arctic Fox (Alopex lagopus)

Family: Canidae (Dogs and Relatives)

Range: Arctic and tundra of North America, Europe, and Asia

Habitat: Tundra

Diet: Lemmings, other small mammals, insects, sea birds, fish, seals, berries, and carrion

Head and Body Length: 20 to 27 inches (50 to 70 cm)

Tail Length: 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 cm)

Shoulder Height: 9 to 11 inches (22 to 27.5 cm)

Weight: 7 to 18 pounds (3 to 8 kg)

Life Cycle: Mating May to June; gestation 49 to 57 days, usually three or four kits born

Description: Heavy white coat during winter; thinner brown coat during summer; short ears; short, stocky body; short legs; long, bushy tail

Conservation Status: Common