His journey shows the vital importance of pack ice for migrating Arctic wildlife and the threat posed by global warming for the sustainability of this balance.
"Less ice will mean fewer opportunities to undertake this type of migration", warns Arnaud Tarroux, one of the researchers behind the study published by the Norwegian Polar Institute.
The vixen, equipped in July 2017 with a satellite transmitter, left the island of Spitzberg, in Svalbard – a Norwegian archipelago located just over a thousand kilometers from the North Pole – March 26, 2018. The 1st July 2018, 76 days after leaving Norway, she reached Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, one of Canada's northernmost communities after traveling 3506 km.
"This species is even more enduring and faster than what has been observed in the past"said Arnaud Tarroux Wednesday.young female, less than a year old, so relatively inexperienced"is literally part"discovering the world by surviving an Arctic crossing from the first attempt"He traveled 1512 km to Greenland in just 21 days," he said.
"This is the first observation that shows in detail that a polar fox has migrated between different continents and ecosystems in the Arctic, and is one of the longest recorded migrations for a polar fox in such a short time", says the Norwegian Polar Institute in an article.The canine, perfectly suited to arid polar environments, moved at an average daily pace of 46.3 km – with a peak of 155 km recorded in Greenland.
Regarding the choice of Canada rather than Russia for example, "it is quite possible that it is simply a series of coincidences that would have led her to find herself in an area of the Canadian High Arctic at the right time to find enough resources and be able to settle there", explains Mr. Tannoux.
Since its arrival on Canadian lands, we do not know what has become of the animal: the tracking system stopped working in February 2019.