Of the several thousand species of mammals that inhabit the earth, there are only about twenty species that live in our Arctic territory. Included among these are lemmings, hares, foxes, wolves, musk oxen, and caribou. Polar bears spend some time on the land but they really belong more to the sea. In a few places, especially in the Western Arctic around the Mackenzie Delta, moose and black bears are numerous.
Of the several thousand species of mammals that inhabit the earth, there are only about twenty species that live in our Arctic territory. Included among these are lemmings, hares, foxes, wolves, musk oxen, and caribou. Polar bears spend some time on the land but they really belong more to the sea. In a few places, especially in the Western Arctic around the Mackenzie Delta, moose and black bears are numerous.

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Muskox

Muskox are native to the Central Arctic and have recently been introduced to the Nunavik Territory.

Courtesy of Parks Canada.

© Parks Canada


Sculpture

Kakutuk muskox

Courtesy of La Fédération des Coopératives du Nouveau-Québec.

© La Fédération des Coopératives du Nouveau-Québec.


Fox

Arctic Fox.

Photo by Eric Loring.

© Eric Loring


hare

The Arctic hare lives entirely north of the treeline. Its population fluctuates enormously every nine or ten years, affecting our food chain.

Photo by Eric Loring.

© Eric Loring


Lithograph

The Fox and Rabbit Lithograph 1989

Mary Pudlat
Courtesy of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-op, Cape Dorset, Nunavut.

© La Fédération des Coopératives du Nouveau-Québec.


Wolf

Wolves can be found wherever there are caribou and are an important part of the natural cycle.

Courtesy of Parks Canada.

© Parks Canada


Lithograph

Proud Wolf Pack Lithograph 1994

Kenojuak Ashevak
Courtesy of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-op, Cape Dorset, Nunavut.

© West Baffin Eskimo Co-op, Cape Dorset, Nunavut.


Caribou

Of all the land mammals, caribou is considered the most essential to our well being.

Photo by Eric Loring

© Eric Loring


Sculpture of Caribou

Sculpture of caribou.

Nutaraluk Iyaituk
Courtesy of La Fédération des Coopératives du Nouveau-Québec

© La Fédération des Coopératives du Nouveau-Québec


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Describe several species of land mammals that live in the Arctic
  • Recognize by sight several species of land mammals that live in the Arctic and name them

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