Animals of the tundra

Despite the cold temperature, the tundra is inhabited by a lot of animal species. Many animals migrate to avoid the colder months. Others have developed, instead, different systems to defend themselves from the cold, through which they can survive in the tundra even during the long, cold winter night. In the tundra, animals cannot hibernate since the frozen soil cannot be dug up to make shelters or tunnels and because the warm season is too short to provide enough food to stock. Many small animals, such as the lemming, dig tunnels under the snow to look for food and to escape predators, but the ermine, a small carnivore with a nimble tapering body, can run after them even into their narrow tunnels. Arctic foxes hide stocks of frozen meat that they eat during the winter. Arctic hares take shelter under the snow, but feed above ground, thus risking to be attacked by wolves.
Many of the species that stay in the tundra in winter, such as the willow capercaille, the Arctic fow, the Arctic hare and the ermine, change their colour to camouflage themselves. In summer, they have, therefore, dark and brown coats, while in winter they are snow-white. Most animals avoid the cold by migrating. In early summer, many species come back in droves from elsewhere: caribou, reindeers, grizzlies and grey wolves, for instance, come back from the boreal forests. Reindeers move in large herds; reindeer-does breed in early summer, as soon as they come back from the tundra. Grey wolves are also born in the warmer months, when they appear in the tundra as they run after large herbivores.

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Facts

  • A frozen mammoth

    During the Pleistocene (approximately 1.5 million years ago), the tundra covered all central Europe and was inhabited by spectacular animals,…

    A heavenly garden

    In Cornwall huge sphere greenhouses were built: huge bubbles made up of plastic hexagons with a metallic framework. Inside these…

    A meteorite explodes in the tundra

    The Siberian tundra is also known for a spectacular astronomic event. On June 30th, 1908, in a remote region of…

  • A witness of the ancient times

    Baltic amber is largely used to make jewels. Amber is a resin that took origin thousands of years ago from…

    Treatment with lime trees

    Some parts of the plants have healing properties: lime trees are among the most common ones. Lime trees (Tilia cordata)…

    Flour and forest perfumes

    Forest produce is also quite valuable and can be picked in any season: berries in summer, mushrooms in autumn and…

  • Myths and legends of the forest

    The dark and mysterious shadows of the forest are populated by fabulous creatures that have existed in men’s dreams for…

    Resin from tree bark

    Resin naturally forms underneath the bark of some trees, that are therefore called resinous trees. Resin, that can be easily…

    Projects to restock species

    The restocking of extinct species is one of the strategies that have been implemented in the attempt to protect and…

  • 17 May 2011

    A frozen mammoth

    During the Pleistocene (approximately 1.5 million years ago), the tundra covered all central Europe and was inhabited by spectacular animals,…

    16 May 2011

    A heavenly garden

    In Cornwall huge sphere greenhouses were built: huge bubbles made up of plastic hexagons with a metallic framework. Inside these…

  • 17 May 2011

    A meteorite explodes in the tundra

    The Siberian tundra is also known for a spectacular astronomic event. On June 30th, 1908, in a remote region of…

    A witness of the ancient times

    Baltic amber is largely used to make jewels. Amber is a resin that took origin thousands of years ago from…

  • Treatment with lime trees

    Some parts of the plants have healing properties: lime trees are among the most common ones. Lime trees (Tilia cordata)…

    Flour and forest perfumes

    Forest produce is also quite valuable and can be picked in any season: berries in summer, mushrooms in autumn and…

  • A frozen mammoth

    During the Pleistocene (approximately 1.5 million years ago), the tundra covered all central Europe and was inhabited by spectacular animals,…

  • 16 May 2011

    A heavenly garden

    In Cornwall huge sphere greenhouses were built: huge bubbles made up of plastic hexagons with a metallic framework. Inside these…

  • 17 May 2011

    A meteorite explodes in the tundra

    The Siberian tundra is also known for a spectacular astronomic event. On June 30th, 1908, in a remote region of…