An arctic fox has walked more than 4,415 kilometers (2,737 miles) to go from northern Norway to Canada’s far north in a span of four months, Norwegian researchers said.
The Norwegian Polar Institute reported that the young female fox left Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, which is her known birthplace, on March 1, 2018 and reached Ellesmere Island in Canada through Greenland on July 1, 2018.
The ground the fox has covered over four months is said to be the most ever recorded for a fox that seeks a place to settle down and breed, as written in the institute’s report in their research article titled “One female’s long run across sea ice.”
A satellite tracking device has been placed on her back in July 2017 near her habitat on Norway’s Spitsbergen island. The scientists monitored her movements and found that she stayed close to home, but gradually ventured out and left the island on March 26, 2018.
“The short span of time spent covering such a distance highlights the exceptional movement capacity of this small-sized carnivore species,” they said.
Norway’s arctic foxes reach Greenland and then North America through the sea ice. Their thick fur allow them to survive cold environments and live until four years.
It is still not clear why they leave their birth places in search of a place to breed, according to the researchers.