WINTER BAFFIN ISLAND SCHOOL OUTREACH
Winter Wildlife in Baffin Island
The Arctic Fox is smaller than those we see here in the UK. Their coat changes throughout the year in order to stay camoflaged in the changin Arctic environment. In the winter, they are a deep orange-brown colour, enabling them to hide in the tundra and disapear against rocky backdrops. As the snow settles and the water turns to ice, the coat changes to an off-white as seen in the picture above. It is adaptations like this that makes the Arctic Fox such a successful species in a challenging environment.
The Polar Bear is a resident of Baffin Island all year round. In the winter, they spend most of their time out on the frozen seas hunting for seal. In the summer, they are forced onto the land as this ice disapears in the heat.
The Polar Bear is a professional hunter, and will eat Seals, Beluga Whales, Arctic Fox, Walrus and maybe even humans. Even though they are a special animal that we try to protect, Antony will need to be careful as Polar Bears can be very dangerous due their size and strength!
The Arctic Hare is similar to the fox, in that it changes the colour of its fur thourghout the year in order to match its surroundings.
They are slightly larger than domesticated rabbits, but can run at speeds up to 40 miles per hour!
Even though they are small, they keep warm with lots of thick fur.
Lemmings are a rodent, related to the vole. They are always found near the Arctic regions. They are fairly small, about 7-15cm in length and are herbivorous, meaning they feed on plants such leaves, shoots and grass.
Unlike most rodents that would hibernate during the winter, the Lemming stays active. Instead, he burys grass clippings in the snow and then digs them up when required!
Ringed Seals spend all of their life in the Arctic Ocean and as far as they're concerned "the icier the better". The live and hunt from ice floes (big chunks of floating ice in the ocean) and will travel further north to try and find bigger ice floes.
The ringed Seals feed on fish, and are not very fussy! They eat medium sized fish and can dive up to 35m underwater to find them!
Ringed Seals are in trouble and their population is declining. This is due to fishing methods and climate change. The seals are getting caught in nets and lines that are attached to fishing boats. As they rely on ice floes for hunting and their habitat, the warming of the oceans is reducing the area in which they can live.