NORWAY / SVALBARD
The Arctic fox comes in two colour schemes
– light grey and bluish-black. It is an opportunist
that eats almost anything, but when it has a
choice, it specialises in small rodents and birds.
It is a common animal on Greenland, Iceland,
Svalbard and in the Russian Arctic.
In Finland and Scandinavia, it was driven close
to extinction by being hunted and trapped for its
valuable fur. Despite over 75 years of protection,
the mainland Scandinavian population still
remains on the brink of extinction, with only
some 200 adult individuals left in the wild. Supplementary
feeding programmes during winter, and
reintroductions from captive breeding facilities
finally seem to be having some real success.
In 2011 no less than 700 pups were born in the wild.
Nature conservation works!
This is one of the species that Rewilding Europe wants considers
to help reintroduce and restock in the huge Greater Laponia region in Sweden and Norway.
Photo: Mireille de la Lez / Wild Wonders of Europe