Copyright for the images is with the authors. Please get in touch if you are interested in using any of our photos.

1 AJB Polar Bear
Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are the iconic animals of Arctic climate change. Here, two bears make their way across the melting sea ice off of the coast of Ellesmere Island in search of food. Face-to-face contact is not advised, as the photographer Anne Bjorkman can attest to from personal experience.
Photo credit: Anne D. Bjorkman
2 AJB Polar Bear 2
Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are best viewed from above (here, from a helicopter) of the coast of Ellesmere Island. In this photo, the mother bear is wearing a radio collar tracking her movements so that biologists can understand the behavior and habitat in changing Arctic conditions.
Photo credit: Anne D. Bjorkman
A red fox (Vulpes vulpes) walks along the beach at sunset near the Pauline Cove settlement on Qikiqtaruk-Herschel Island. Here, red foxes feed on lemmings and voles. It was a peak year for these cyclic rodent populations at our Arctic field site in 2018. We got to witness many successful pounces by this playful blonde-tinted fox who was our fieldwork companion on the island this summer.
Photo credit: Gergana N. Daskalova
Muskox (Ovibos moschatus) numbers on Qikiqtaruk-Herschel Island fluctuate from a handful of individuals to a herd of over 30 muskoxen. Standing majestically in front of a retrogressive thaw slump, here you can see a male muskox. 
Photo credit: Gergana N. Daskalova
3 JTK Caribou
A caribou (Rangifer tarandus) pauses while walking along the coastline of Qikitaruk – Herschel Island. In the distance, a derelict oil drilling platform recalls a time when the competition for resources between corporations and wildlife in this region took a different direction. These conflicts pervade Arctic regions and, with climate change, will only increase.
Photo credit: Jeffrey T. Kerby
4 GND Bearded Seal
A male bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus) resting on the shore near Pauline Cove. Nearby, a ringed seal (Pusa hispida) swims in the icy waters, resulting in a quick showdown between the two seals. Eventually, both seals lie down on the shore, giving us a nice chance to compare the different species.
Photo credit: Gergana N. Daskalova
5 GND Eider and Ice
Eider ducks (Somateria mollissima) are used to the chills of Arctic waters. At the start of summer, Eider ducks breed along the shores of Qikiqtaruk-Herschel Island, and soon enough adults, like the female pictured here, and their broods venture back into the sea.
Photo credit: Gergana N. Daskalova
6 IMS Muskox
On Qikiqtaruk-Herschel Island stands Murray the Muskox (Ovibos moschatus), a statuesque creature chewing his cud on a foggy day.  Murray had joined us in our camp, the historic whaling settlement of Pauline Cove, possibly to avoid a roaming grizzly bear or perhaps to have a wash in the still waters of the cove. Herbivores such as Murray may be the first to feel the impacts of the changing climate as the vegetation grows taller and shrubbier in this part of the Canadian Arctic.
Photo credit: Isla H. Myers-Smith
7 SAB Fox
A red fox (Vulpes vulpes) gives us an over-the-shoulder glance before retreating to its den to look after its five kits. Red foxes have expanded their range northward with climate warming, and are fierce competitors to Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) which they displace.
Photo credit: Sandra Angers-Blondin
8 SAB Bumble Bee
Insects such as this Arctic bumble bee are just as important in Arctic food webs as in the rest of the world. Insects pollinate flowers and provide food for shorebirds. If the timing of the first leaves or flowers in the spring becomes offset from the emergence of insects, this can have cascading effects on animals higher up in the food web: a concept known as phenological mismatch.
Photo credit: Sandra Angers-Blondin
Snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus) population numbers fluctuate depending on the availability of their main food sources – voles and lemmings. We saw snowy owls every day as we hiked across the tundra. Much about this Arctic-roaming species remains unknown, including the outer limits of its breeding and migratory ranges. This is the bird species that can have the greatest distance between consecutive nesting sites (over 2000 km) as they roam the tundra looking for sufficient food to raise their chicks.
Photo credit: Gergana N. Daskalova
9 GND Plover on the Beach
Semipalmated plovers (Charadrius semipalmatus) appear to constantly be on the run. Dashing through the grass and sandy shores, they are always weary of potential threats. When they sense one, the plovers resort to the “fake broken wing dance” to divert attention away from their young.
Photo credit: Gergana N. Daskalova
10 GND Lichen Longspur
The song of the lapland longspur (Calcarius lapponicus) is a prominent part of the Qikiqtaruk soundscape. These migratory birds come to Qikiqtaruk to breed, and raise their brood on seeds and invertebrates.
Photo credit: Gergana N. Daskalova
11 GND Short-Eared Owl
Our fieldwork on Qikiqtaruk-Herschel Island involves a lot of looking up in the sky – most often tracking our drones as they capture how vegetation is changing on the island from above. Once we picked up the habit of looking up, we lucked out on seeing things other than drones, such as this short-eared owl (Asio flammeus). Flying over our camp in Pauline Cove amidst the golden evening light, this was the only owl we saw in 2017. Short-eared and snowy owl numbers on the island often fluctuate, depending on the abundance of lemmings, one of their main food sources.
Photo credit: Gergana N. Daskalova
12 GND Ptarmigan
Camouflaged among tussocks of cottongrass, rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta) are often dashing around us as we were progressing through daily tasks. Using drones, we get a better understanding of how the habitat of this species, many others, is changing.
Photo credit: Gergana N. Daskalova
13 GND Sand piper
Semipalmated sandpipers (Calidris pusilla) feed on aquatic insects and crustaceans which they find in mudflats, such as those around Pauline Cove on Qikiqtaruk-Herschel Island. Like the semipalmated plovers, we often see them dashing around camp, from one shallow pool to another and then back to their nests.
Photo credit: Gergana N. Daskalova
14 SAB Eagle
A juvenile bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) flies through a sky heavy with glacial dust over Kluane Lake, Yukon Territory. Bald eagles are large birds of prey which feed mainly on fish, and are distributed throughout North America, as far north as the Arctic.
Photo credit: Sandra Angers-Blondin
15 SAB Grizzly Bear
Both along the Arctic Coast and in the alpine tundra of the Yukon, the dominant non-human predator is the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos). However, most of the time grizzlys are omnivores eating plant roots and small mammals, and as a result they directly depend on the entire food web of tundra ecosystems.
Photo credit: Sandra Angers-Blondin
16 SAB Ground Squirrel
The small herbivores of Arctic and alpine tundra can have a big impact on the abundance of plants. This Arctic ground squirrel (Spermophilus parryii) depends on the seeds and roots of tundra plants to store up fat for a long hibernation.
Photo credit: Sandra Angers-Blondin

The ermine (Mustela erminea) is one of the smallest predators of the tundra. This ermine is collecting a vole that it dropped in haste as it saw people approaching.

Video credit: Santeri Lehtonen

This walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) is the first one spotted on Qikiqtaruk – Herschel Island for over a decade. Walruses make their homes thousands of kilometres to the east or west of this site, but males sometimes roam long distances in search of new colonies or better habitat.

Video credit: Isla H. Myers-Smith

Copyright for the images is with the authors. Please get in touch if you are interested in using any of our photos.