Arctic Fox Gardens

A lot has been said about the destructive nature man has on the environment. Our presence often leads to ecological disaster for the longtime native residents. But this destructive tendency isn’t true for all animals. Some creatures actually change extreme environments into ones that are more hospitable. It turns out arctic foxes, for example, have quite the green thumbs.

In the arctic, life can be very harsh. Sometimes the only way to survive is to dig deep underground and try to wait out the cold and the snow. Arctic foxes have been using this tactic for so long that some of their dens are estimated to be more than 100 years old! Not only that, but the presence of these foxes means their dens become a dumbing ground for all sorts of organic waste products and leftovers. All those nutrients in one place means plants have rich soil to grow in. This in turn attracts all sorts of animals looking for a bite to eat in the icy wasteland. Some of these animals are even the favored prey of the foxes themselves. The foxes may tend the gardens but they only harvest its visitors.

Arctic foxes are carnivorous and don’t even eat the plants their dens’ grow.
This fascinating arrangement often means that some animals, like lemmings, end up nesting right on top of their predator’s dens.
During the warmer parts of the year the foxes coats actually change color to help them continue to blend in.
Scientists have been so amazed by the fox garden discovery that they’ve labeled arctic foxes “ecosystem engineers”.
They might not look it but these cute guys are responsible for many “tundra oases”
Sleepy Arctic Fox
Hunting is so much easier when your prey comes to you.
As you can see their gardens really stand out.
Jackie Verstege
Digging new dens is a lot of work. That’s why foxes prefer to use their old ones over and over again.
Just another impressive example of life always finding a way.

Did you know that arctic foxes are amazing gardeners? Tell me in the comments below!


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