Arctic Fox In The Tundra


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Arctic foxes are primarily monogamous and both parents will care for the offspring. When predators and prey are abundant, Arctic foxes are more likely to be promiscuous (exhibited in both males and females) and display more complex social structures. Larger packs of foxes consisting of breeding or non-breeding males or females can guard a single territory more proficiently to increase pup survival. When resources are scarce, competition increases and the number of foxes in a territory decreases. On the coasts of Svalbard, the frequency of complex social structures is larger than inland foxes that remain monogamous due to food availability. In Scandinavia, there are more complex social structures compared to other populations due to the presence of the red fox. Also, conservationists are supplying the declining population with supplemental food. One unique case, however, is Iceland where monogamy is the most prevalent. The older offspring (1-year-olds) often remain within their parent's territory even though predators are absent and there are fewer resources, which may indicate kin selection in the fox.