The white and blue arctic fox
In Greenland there are two races of the arctic fox, the white and the blue, which both change colour during the summer and winter. The white arctic fox's coat changes during the summer to a more mottled grey-brown shade on the back with grey and white tones on the belly. The blue arctic fox changes from a dark grey-brown summer coat to a grey-black coat in the winter with a bluish tinge.
It is estimated that there are similar numbers of both species in Greenland, except during the years in which the lemming population is in decline. Lemmings are the white arctic fox's most important prey, and a fall in the population of lemmings consequently also has an impact on the number of white arctic foxes.
Diet and size
The arctic fox is a carnivore that lives on the remains of the polar bear's prey, as well as mountain hares, lemmings, fish, crustaceans, molluscs, mussels, bird's eggs, and also insects and berries. The white arctic fox finds most of its food on the tundra, whilst the blue arctic fox forages along the coast where it finds its food in connection with tidal movements.
The arctic fox can weigh up to 8 kilos (17½ lbs), and grow to a length of 70 cm (27 inches) with a tail of 35 cm (14 inches). The arctic fox is found all over Greenland and is only hunted to a limited extent. It is not a threatened species.