Arctic Fox Stuns Scientists By Trekking From Norway To Canada

Arctic fox
Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A young female fox, just under one years old, baffled scientists by the journey she made in a span of four months. Known as a coastal or blue fox, the animal managed to walk over 2,700 from the island of Spitsbergen, Norway to Ellesmere Island in Nunavut, Canada. The journey was one of the longest ever recorded for the species.

The fox was fitted with a tracking collar by the Norwegian Polar Institute back in 2017 and released her back into the wild. At first, the fox stayed on the coastline of western Spitsbergen, however, changing course whenever she was faced with open water.

After discovering a frozen sea for the first time, the fox left Spitsbergen, traveling 939 miles in 21 days, arriving in Greenland on April 16, 2018. The fox continued her journey and made it to Canada on July 1, 2018.

The fox's average traveling speed varied throughout the journey, although it is estimated that she covered around 28 miles per day. Her fastest recorded day, however, was 96 miles per day when she was crossing the ice sheet in northwestern Greenland.

She was traveling mostly by ice sheets, which also provided her with food to survive. According to researchers, the fox was 1.4 times faster than the previously recorded journey of an adult male. This is assumed to be the fastest traveling fox of her species.

The Arctic foxes live between 3 to 6 years and have the ability to survive in minus 59 degrees Fahrenheit. It is assumed she left Norway due to food scarcity, making her new home in Canada. In February 2019, her tracker stopped worrying and researchers no longer know where she is.