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Arctic Fox in Autumn Colors
Copyright Joanne Chow Winship - all rights reserved

A beautiful and curious Arctic fox sits over her den on the remote tundra of Nunavik, Canada. Photo copyrighted to client Joanne Chow Winship, taken during September 2016 on a special 'Musk-ox, Autumn Colors & Aurora' wildlife expedition to Canada's Far North. Arctic foxes do not hibernate and are active all year round. They build up their fat reserves in the autumn, sometimes increasing their body weight by more than 50%. This provides greater insulation during the winter and a source of energy when food is scarce. They live in large dens in frost-free, slightly raised ground. These are complex systems of tunnels covering as much as 1,000 m2 (1,200 sq yd) and are often in eskers, long ridges of sedimentary material deposited in formerly glaciated regions. They have multiple entrances and may have been in existence for many decades and used by many generations of foxes. Arctic foxes tend to form monogamous pairs in the breeding season and maintain a territory around the den. Breeding usually takes place in April and May, and the gestation period is about 52 days. Litters tend to average five to eight kits, but exceptionally contain as many as 25 (the largest litter size in the order Carnivora). Both the mother and father help to raise the young which emerge from the den when 3 to 4 weeks old and are weaned by 9 weeks of age.

Joanne writes:

"One of the many highlights was coming across a fox den with a curious young cross fox who couldn't keep his eyes off the two of us. After we passed by, I looked back and his head was peaking over the bushes with his gaze still following us. That was such a sweet encounter with wildlife, not one of fear but curiosity. We had other thrills; coming across the musk ox, a bear, and bringing in lake trout for dinner. The food was plentiful, but there was something special about being in the wild and being able to gain sustenance from it. The dramatic sunsets, the Northern Lights, The wildlife, stunning vistas, the pure air and water..., and the very competent and friendly staff made it a truly magical adventure. This is Inuit territory and we were fortunate to touch their world."

- Joanne Chow Winship
San Francisco, CA, USA

  Click here to check out Joanne's full photo essay and trip review about her northern wildlife expedition with us 

Click here to learn more about the special autumn wildlife expedition on which this photo was taken



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