The Arctic Fox: Another Possible Casualty of Global Warming/Climate Change

Photo courtesy of imagecache6.allposters.com

Photo courtesy of imagecache6.allposters.com

Arctic foxes are beautiful animals, perfectly adapted to their climate. Although their looks are cute and almost delicate compared to other foxes,  their home range is quite large and encompasses the coldest places in the world- the entire Arctic tundra, Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Russia, Norway, Scandinavia, and even Iceland. These animals are so tough that they are the only native land mammal in their area of Iceland, according to Defenders of Wildlife. 

Of their several ingenious adaptations that make it possible to survive in such extreme conditions is deep, thick fur which allows them to maintain a consistent body temperature, as well as compact bodies which minimize the surface area that is exposed to the cold air.

Unfortunately for this amazing creature, it is under threat of extinction due to a variety of factors. They are prime targets of the fur trade and have fallen victim to diseases spread from domestic dogs.

Then, of course, there’s global warming. The Defenders of Wildlife webpage about the arctic fox explains:

“The Arctic fox is losing ground to the larger red fox. Arctic foxes are specially adapted to thrive in the far north. Where conditions are less extreme, however, this highly specialized species is generally out-competed by its cousin, the more adaptable red fox.

As climate change takes its toll and the snow-line continues to recede further and further north, the range of the Arctic fox shrinks, too, giving way to the northward advance of the red fox.”

The longer we humans take to acknowledge that the scientific proof of global warming is certain and irrefutable, the less time we will have to halt the extinctions of animals such as the arctic fox- animals which are very dependent on the specific conditions of their home habitats. Conditions that, as we argue and argue, will continue to shift and change.

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