Relationships & Conservation

 Symbiotic/Human Relationships

     Besides the dependence on others of their kind for mating, Arctic Foxes have a few symbiotic relationships. Arctic Foxes may sometimes feed on the leftovers of other animals' meals, including polar bears. They may sometimes be killed by polar bears, so at times, different sides of the relationship benefit. Without the prey they consume, Arctic Foxes must find another organism to feed on. They feed on lemmings, voles, and other critters, which could be considered a symbiotic relationship, although the prey does not benefit from its side of the bargain.
     Although Arctic Foxes are not afraid of humans, and may even approach, they are greatly in demand in the fur trade. Arctic Foxes also kill famers' sheep and livestock, so both groups negatively affect each other. It is unfortunate that while humans are pleased by the "fun" of hunting Arctic Foxes, these mammals only kill the farmers' sheep in an effort to survive. Hopefully the generally negative relationship between humans and Arctic Foxes can become one of peaceful coexistance.  


     Arctic Foxes, as mentioned before, are hunted for their furs. Fortunately their population has not been majorly affected by the killings, because Arctic Foxes reproduce quickly. Population numbers fluxate, but authorities claim the total number to be around several hunderd thousand. Therefore, the Arctic Fox's endangerment level is "At No Concern".
     Some methods are used in an effort to keep the Arctic Fox population at an even level. Captive breeding and a control program are used to manage the population of Arctic Foxes. Although their population number is not a concern at this time, it is a goal to keep it that way. 

Since their population is not too harmfully affected, Arctic Foxes are hunted, and their pelts sold. Above are some pictures of Arctic Fox furs (left and middle) and a variety of fox furs (right).