Wildlife in the Arctic National Wildlife refuge. This is a red fox kit, taken just a hundred yards or so from where we camped along the Canning river on the coastal plain. This photo was taken around 3am. It was pretty cloudy and overcast, but the clouds didn’t go all the way to northern horizon, so eventually there was a little break, where the sun dipped just below the cloudline towards the horizon, lit up the land for about 20 minutes, then it began it’s climb back into the sky and disappeared behind the cloud cover.
I spent quite a few hours trying to get close enough to these kits for some decent photos, but unfortunately I never managed to do so when the light came out. Once in position near the den, I couldn’t move without scaring the kits back into their underground home. So when the light appeared I had to make do without shooting backlit fox kits. A silhouette was the best I could manage, try as I might to get a couple of the kits with the gorgeous arctic golden light shining on them. There were about 5 kits in the area, and they had 3 dens, each about 100 yards apart. It was fun watching them run and play and chase each other across the tundra from den to den.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is home to both red and arctic foxes, and the red fox is clearly larger and the dominant animal. One evening I saw an arctic fox creeping around the tundra catch site of a nearby red fox, and the arctic fox immediately took flight in the opposite direction.
From this one campsite we saw red fox, arctic fox, and wolves, all within a few hours of each other. There’s not too many places in the world that offer such a cool array of canines. We had a large grizzly bear boar walk by camp, about 6am. Fortunately he just sauntered on up the river and paid little heed to the camp.
More ANWR photos