Watercolor on paper
IUCN status: Vunerable
Snowy owls are one of the largest owl species in North America. They live and breed in areas of arctic tundra, where their livelihood depends on numbers of lemmings; the owls main food source. In winter some snowy owls will irrupt (migrate) south, usually along the coast, where they can be seen hunting near beaches and airports, offering people a unique view of a beautiful raptor. The status of the snowy owl was recently changed to Vunerable on the IUCN red list. They are threatened by habitat loss and many of the owls who head south suffer from vehicles strikes, rodenticide poisoning and electrocution. Climatic changes to the arctic tundra will affect the lemming populations, causing concern for the declining snowy owl populations.