One of the most popular arctic animals for travellers to get a picture of is the arctic fox. They are playful in nature which makes them a wonderful animal to spot in the wild and are actually quite common in certain areas of Iceland. It is not uncommon to spot the arctic fox during a trip to the Icelandic Westfjords and they have become a popular tourist attraction in recent years. If you are planning a trip to Iceland and want to know more about this animal and where to spot it then we have some information that might help!
One of the most common misconceptions about the arctic fox is that you will only see it during the winter months. Although this is untrue, you won’t see a white arctic fox during the summer months as the animal's coat changes colour. During the warmer months the Arctic Fox’s fur changes from white to a grey and then a brown in the warmest months. This means you may have already seen the arctic fox if you have been to Iceland before just with a different coat. However, if you want to see the fox with its white coat, then you will need to head to Iceland during the colder months.
Small in Size
The animals can often go unnoticed in the winter months as their white coats blend in with the snow and they are diminutive in size. Many people expect the arctic fox to be a larger animal but in fact they are about the size of a large domestic cat so they are usually smaller than the red fox. The animals are also usually solitary animals much like their red counterpart, which can make them hard to spot in the snow. Despite their small size, they are part of the canidae family of animals and are most closely related to wolves, dogs and other foxes.
Are They Exclusive to Iceland?
An interesting fact about the Arctic Fox is that it is the only native land mammal in Iceland, all the horses, sheep and other land mammals were brought to the country. However, despite the fact that the arctic fox is thriving in the wilderness of Iceland, it is not the only country this mammal exists. It can be found all across the arctic in countries including Canada, Greenland, Russia and Norway, amongst other nations. Iceland remains possibly the best place to see the arctic fox though due to fact that it is protected in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve and has been since 1994. You can also find them in the wild in the Westfjords which is also home to some of the largest bird populations in Iceland.
So there you have it, the top three facts about foxes and some answers to the most popular questions we get asked. If you are coming to Iceland and are interested in the wildlife then the arctic foxes will surely be on top of your list. The nature reserve is one of the best places to head to but spotting them in the wild can be a real joy. You will likely need car hire if you are thinking about travelling to the Westfjords so take a look at our range of cars.