Tundra occupies a vast area of the north of Russia. Although there is absolutely no forest and a very harsh climate, many animals find their food and feel at home. Because of the low temperatures in the tundra can not grow any trees, even conifers can not withstand its frosts. However, in this area there are about 1300 species of animals that have managed to adapt to the extreme conditions of the north. What animals live in the tundra? What do these animals eat?
Despite the cold, mosses and lichens grow in the tundra, and in the south of the region you can find a polar willow and dwarf birch. The development of this vegetation is promoted by a humid climate. There is little precipitation in the tundra, but due to low temperatures and insignificant evaporation, there are many marshes and lakes here. What do animals eat in the tundra?
The most common plant of this northern zone is reindeer moss (yagel). There is enough moisture for it to grow, but it does not require heat. The mulberry grows very slowly and is the main source of nutrition for reindeer.
Also in the tundra a lot of shrubs. They are not afraid of frosts and at the first manifestations of heat begin to be covered with juicy fruits. These are blueberries, lingonberries, cloudberries and cranberries.
The vegetation of the tundra is creeping or pillow-shaped. Even birches and willows grow dwarf species here, miniature, about 30 cm. A close arrangement to the ground allows vegetation to retain heat from the ground, and be saved from strong winds that can break their stems.
In the tundra, permafrost, and lush grass is simply not found. However, the animals of this region have adapted to its unfriendly conditions and have learned to get food from under the layers of snow, find leaves and eat moss. What animals live in the tundra?
This beautiful beast belongs to the dog family. Depending on the species, the fox fur can be white or blue, and the season changes slightly the shade. The bright Arctic fox in the summer season becomes dirty-brown, and in the winter its fur coat shines with noble whiteness and merges with snow. Blue fox in the cold season becomes darker: brown or blue-gray shades.
This northern beast is famous for its thick and incredibly beautiful fur. In the spring and autumn, it begins to moult, which lasts about 4 months. The best and dense fur of Arctic foxes grows in the winter months.
Animals in the tundra survive in severe frosts and sharp winds. Arctic fox prepares carefully for the winter: digs a hole near the water, surrounded by stones. This allows him to safely hide from the cold and hide from larger predators.
The arctic fox feeds on small rodents, birds, fish and berries. In lean periods, this animal follows the polar bears in search of the remains of the meat of dead seals. The lifespan of the fox is about 10 years.
This animal is one of the most common and numerous inhabitants of the tundra. Lemmings feed on fruits, plant roots, seeds. When rodents reach the age of only 2-3 months, they are ready to reproduce and reproduce the offspring. For a year, one female leads about 60 cubs.
Animals that live in the tundra often migrate. Basically, lemmings move to other places to look for food. These small rodents are of no value to humans. But the animal world of the tundra without lemmings simply will not survive, as they are the main food for foxes and arctic foxes.
This noble animal possesses excellent endurance, and thick fur protects it from frosts and winds of the tundra. Annually deer migrate to the northern parts of the region. With sharp hoofs, they scrape out the remains of lichens from frozen ground, but they are very few for proper nutrition. Therefore, deer change their habitat and head north.
When traveling, the deer can reach speeds of up to 80 km / h. And very often it saves him from attack by predators such as a wolf or a bear. The reindeer has the ability to see in the ultraviolet spectrum, so the fur of any animal in the snow appears to him as a dark spot.
They are incredibly smart and strong animals. In the tundra of Russia, white wolves are found, the thick wool of which saves them from the fierce frosts of the north. Mostly they live near the place of their birth. However, often they have to overcome enormous distances in order to survive and survive.
On the day an adult animal needs about 5 kg of meat to feed. Therefore, wolves are not eager to eat and eat any livestock. In the summer they catch birds, frogs, and in winter they hunt polar hares and lemmings.
However, the main source of nutrition for these predators are deer. At the time of migration, wolves pursue them, share the herd and skillfully hunt, resorting to tricks in the form of ambushes or a long chase for a weak victim.
In general, representatives of this class are small animals. In the tundra live larger hares, sometimes reaching a weight of 5 kg. Belyaki live in burrows near the slopes of rivers, where there is more vegetation. Since there are few grasses in the tundra, the hares have adapted to eat the branches and roots of shrubs, the bark of trees.
Basically, whites are active at night, but in the tundra they have to go out to find food in the afternoon. Hare is very well developed hearing, and in the case of the slightest rustle they are allowed to run, skillfully hiding and confusing tracks. The burrows of these animals reach a length of up to 8 meters. Sensing danger, the hares hide deeply in their shelters, and no noise can make them leave.
Protection of animals
Most of the inhabitants of this northern region are endangered animals. In the tundra, it is very rare to find polar bears. Basically, these large animals live in the Arctic. Polar bears are listed in the Red Book, and any kind of hunting for them in Russia is completely banned.
Several conservation areas have been established to protect the tundra fauna. Information about animals in the tundra is constantly updated, and their numbers are counted annually. It is hard for animals to survive in the difficult conditions of this cold region, and rare species can completely disappear.