In the midst of an Arctic rainstorm, a new team member joins us. The cutest in camp, this tiny lemming, or avinngaq in Inuktitut, has taken shelter from the howling winds and horizontal rain – in our tent vestibule! At the time of her discovery she was so engrossed in voraciously eating Arctic flowers and leaves that she ignored us big two-footed animals!
There are several species of lemming in the Arctic and they are one of the most important foods for predators. They are so numerous because they can breed under the snow in the dark Arctic winter. During lemming peaks, the number of Arctic foxes and snowy owls soar. Even the caribou benefit from lemming droppings, which help to fertilise the Arctic tundra where they graze. This delightful little fur ball has been welcomed by all into camp.