Tundra occupies a vast area of northern Russia. Although there is no forest at all and a very harsh climate, many animals find their food and feel at home. Due to the low temperatures in the tundra, no trees can grow; even conifers cannot withstand its frosts. However, in this area there are about 1,300 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 polar willow and dwarf birch can be found in the south of the region. The development of this vegetation contributes to a humid climate. There is little precipitation in the tundra, but due to low temperatures and slight evaporation there are many swamps and lakes here. What do animals eat in the tundra?
The most common plant of this northern zone is reindeer moss (moss). Moisture is enough for its growth, but it does not require heat. The moss grows very slowly and is the main source of food for reindeer.
Also in the tundra are many shrubs. They are not afraid of frost and at the first manifestations of heat they begin to become covered with juicy fruits. These are blueberries, cowberries, cloudberries and cranberries.
Tundra vegetation has a creeping or pillow shape. Even birches and willows here grow dwarf species, miniature, about 30 cm. Close proximity to the ground allows the vegetation to retain heat coming from the ground, and escape from strong winds that can break their stems.
In the tundra, permafrost, and lush grass is simply not found here. However, the animals of this region have adapted to its inhospitable conditions and have learned how 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 canine family. Depending on the species, the arctic fox's coat is white or blue, and varies slightly in season with the season. The bright fox in the summer season becomes dirty-brown, and in 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 he begins to molt, which lasts about 4 months. The best and thickest fur in Arctic foxes grows during the winter months.
Animals in the tundra survive in severe frosts and sharp winds. The arctic fox is thoroughly preparing for winter: it digs a hole not far from the water, surrounded by stones. This allows him to safely hide from the cold and hide from larger predators.
The arctic fox eats 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 life span of an arctic 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 breed and reproduce offspring. For the year, one female leads about 60 cubs.
Animals that live in the tundra often migrate. Mostly lemmings move to other places to search for food. These small rodents are of no value to humans. But the animal world of tundra without lemmings simply will not survive, as they are the main food for foxes and foxes.
This noble animal has excellent endurance, and thick fur protects it from frost and tundra winds. Each year, deer migrate to the northern parts of the region. With sharp hoofs they scrape out the remains of lichens from the frozen soil, but there are very few of them for good nutrition. Therefore, the deer change their habitat and head towards the north.
When moving deer can reach speeds of up to 80 km / h. And very often it saves him from attacks by predators, such as a wolf or a bear. Reindeer has the ability to see in the ultraviolet spectrum, so the fur of any animal on the snow is represented as a dark spot.
These are incredibly smart and strong animals. White wolves are found in the tundra of Russia, the thick hair of which saves them from the severe frosts of the north. Mostly they live near their birthplace. However, they often have to overcome enormous distances in order to feed themselves and survive.
On the day, an adult animal needs to feed about 5 kg of meat. Therefore, wolves are picky in eating and consume any animal. In the summer, they catch birds, frogs, and in winter they hunt polar hares and lemmings.
However, the main source of food for these predators is deer. At the time of migration, wolves pursue them, divide the herd and skillfully hunt, resorting to tricks in the form of ambushes or a long chase for a weak victim.
Mostly representatives of this class are small animals. Larger hares live in the tundra, sometimes reaching a weight of 5 kg. Belyaks live in burrows near the slopes of rivers, where there is more vegetation. Since there is little grass in the tundra, hares have adapted to eat branches and roots of shrubs, tree bark.
Mostly whites are active at night, but in the tundra they have to go in search of food during the day. Hares have a very well-developed ear, and in the case of the slightest rustle, they take to their heels, skillfully hiding and confusing tracks. The burrows of these animals reach a length of up to 8 meters. Sensing danger, the hares are hiding deep in their shelters, and no noise can force them to leave.
Most of the inhabitants of this northern region are endangered animals. In the tundra it is very rare to find polar bears. Mostly 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 prohibited.
To protect the fauna of the tundra created several reserves. Information about animals in the tundra is constantly updated, each year counting their numbers. It is difficult for animals to survive in the difficult conditions of this cold region, and rare species can disappear completely.