The Tundra region is one of the world’s most hostile, with sub-zero temperatures and limited growth seasons. These areas are mainly in the Arctic or on mountaintops where there is little rain and the weather is windy and cold. On this planet, there are three types of Tundra regions: Arctic Tundra, Antarctic Tundra, and Alpine Tundra. The vegetation and fauna of each of these tundras vary from one another. Sedge, moss, lichen, dwarf shrub, and grass dominate the vegetation in these areas, with bigger trees growing in patches. Here is the list of 10 animals that live in the Tundra,
Animals That Live in the Tundra
1. Arctic Wolf
The beautiful Arctic Wolf is one of the largest wolves in the world that lives in Greenland and the Arctic area of North America. Younger Arctic wolves have a smokey-gray and white coloring, whereas older wolves are all-white. Arctic wolves can weigh up to 175 pounds despite often being smaller than gray wolves (79.4 kilograms). Although they occasionally live in packs, they mostly live alone.
Due to permafrost, Arctic wolves cannot bury dens; instead, they give birth in caves, rock outcroppings, or depressions in the ground. Between May and June, one litter can produce between two and three pups. The size of the mammals that the Arctic wolf hunts and consumes varies greatly. Arctic hares, seals, lemmings, caribou, and occasionally even moose may be part of their diet.
One of the animals of the polar regions Rangifer tarandus is referred to as caribou or reindeer. Caribou can be found in Alaska, the Canadian Rockies, Selkirk, the Columbia Mountains, and the northernmost regions of Canada, including the Yukon, Nunavut, and Northwest Territories. The tundra ecoregion of northern Europe and Siberia is home to reindeer, the Eurasian term for caribou.
Reindeer or caribou is one of the animals that travel the farthest that can be found in semi-domesticated herds or the wild. The inhabitants of the tundra regions use these animals for transportation as well as for their milk, meat, and hide. The primary foods that caribou consume include grasses, willows, mushrooms, sedges, and lichens.
Also Read: 10 Different Types Of Taiga Animals
Image Source: Wikimedia
The lemming is a tiny rodent that lives in northern Sweden, Norway, and on the Kola Peninsula in the Russian Federation. This creature has a maximum height of 17 cm. It has a spherical, thickly furred body without a tail. Lemmings have remarkably vivid coloring; their breast is white, their sides are yellow, and their back is a pronounced shade of reddish brown. Lemmings have classic rodent-like prominent front teeth.
The lemming’s legs are hidden beneath its body. To aid in digging, each paw possesses a sizable flat claw on one of the fingers. To avoid the cold and find a place to sleep, they dig tunnels and burrows in the dirt and snow. Lemmings mostly consume mosses and lichens, which are plants that grow in erratic climates where snow can melt and regrow.
Image Source: Wikimedia
4. Beluga Whales
The Beluga Whale is one of the fish with big foreheads that travel throughout the Arctic. Salmon, shrimp, and mollusks are among the many marine animals that beluga whales eat for food. When wintertime arrives and ice starts to form in the Arctic waters, these whale species move south in huge groupings known as pods. It is also listed as one of the white animals in the world.
Due to rising activity for the production of fossil fuels in the Arctic region, these whales are more in danger of going extinct. There were 321 beluga whales recorded as of 2012. This is a sharp 75% decline from the population it had a few decades ago. As a result, it has been listed as an endangered species by the appropriate authorities.
People adore keeping chinchillas as pets because they are nocturnal, alpine tundra animals that are native to the highlands of Northern Chile. They have a kinship with guinea pigs and one of the most fluffy animals in the world. Large colonies of these rodents can be found up to 14,000 feet in elevation. They are known for having a thick fur coat that is very silky and grey in color and a bushy tail.
Due to chinchillas being hunted for their fur, their population has significantly decreased. At the moment, they are considered critically endangered. Although there is a great demand for this fur and a low supply, it is highly regarded. One of the first rodent species to infest South America was the chinchilla. One of the fluffiest animals in the entire world, it.
6. The Himalayan Tahr
The Himalayan Tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus) is a native species of the Himalayas that can be seen in India, Nepal, and Tibet. It is a big white goat that prefers to live on steep slopes or in the woods of the Himalayas. They move to low-altitude regions during exceptionally cold weather. They resemble both a goat and a cow in parts.
It is sturdy enough to withstand the hard temperature of the Himalayas because of its hair-covered body, thick wool coats, and even undercoats underneath. This animal is a strict herbivore and browser that consumes only plant-based foods like leaves, fruits, and grasses. They prefer to live in communities of about 80 people.
Image Source: Wikimedia
The Pacific walrus relies on pack ice for survival, just like the polar bear. This ice has been melting at a rate that is frightening because of the changing environmental conditions. These aquatic animals served as both a ground where they harvested their clams and as nurseries for their calves. The Atlantic and Pacific Walrus are the two subspecies of the Walrus.
The Northern Hemisphere’s Arctic and sub-Arctic tundra are home to both subspecies. They are one of the popular land and water animals that stay near the shore and lay on sea ice. They use their long tusks for various purposes, including making holes in the ice for breathing and assisting themselves onto sea ice. To keep themselves warm when diving into chilly waters, walruses have a lot of fat. Their state of conservation is precarious.
8. Snow Leopard
The most dangerous predator in the highlands is the snow leopard. Mountains in Siberia and the Himalayas are home to snow leopards. These huge cats typically have black-on-white, gray, or creamy-yellow speckled patterns on their thick fur. Of all the wild cat species, snow leopards have the longest and densest fur. They have larger paws like other mountain species do to help them move through the snow.
Their shorter skulls have larger nose holes to let in more air. Their limbs are set up like a cheetah’s; the cat can jump and chase the prey with speed thanks to the longer, more powerful rear legs. Additionally, the snow leopard possesses superior muscles that function as springs to improve its ability to jump.
9. Snowy Owl
The Snowy Owl of the Arctic tundra comes next on the list and is one of the types of owls in Southern California. Snowy owls are born with a dark grayish-brown coloring, but as they age, they develop a speckled-gray or brown-and-white coloring. Previously of little concern, snowy owls are now vulnerable as of 2021 due to their falling population being threatened by human activity. It is one of the popular animals that live in the Tundra region. It is also listed as one of the most popular owls in Washington State.
These winter animals have excellent eyesight and wait until they detect their food before snatching it with their talons, just like other owl species. Lemmings are a favored food for snowy owls, but they also consume other birds, rodents, and fish. Although snowy owls can endure the tundra all year round, they may migrate to farms and marshes in other areas.
Also Read: 10 Types Of Owls in Illinois
10. Polar Bear
One of the animals with small ears in the world, polar bears are known as marine mammals. These types of bears live in Alaska, Canada, Russia, and Greenland’s Arctic tundra. They rely on the ocean for habitat, food, and protection. Near the Arctic Ocean, they are primarily found on sea ice. Their skin is pitch-black underneath the fur. Interestingly, polar bears can swim for extended periods.
These apex predators have excellent paws that enable them to swim quickly. They consume plants, eggs, and seals as food. It is one of the most amazing arctic animals in the entire planet. Polar bears do not hibernate, and females only use dens to keep the cubs warm after birth, unlike other bear species. It is one of the animals that live in the Tundra region.
These are the 10 animals that live in the Tundra. Kindly share and post your comments.