- Common name: Lemming
- Including: Nearctic Collared Lemming, Ogilvie Mountain Collared Lemming, Nearctic Brown Lemming, Northern Bog Lemming
- Scientific name: Dicrostonyx groenlandicus, Dicrostonyx nunatakensis, Lemmus trimucronatus, Synaptomys borealis
- Order: Rodentia
- Family: Crecitidae
- Look for huge mounds of sandy soil at the entrance to a burrow, paths cleared through grasses and haystacks built up for winter feeding.
- Lemmings may stand up on their hind feet as you walk by on the tundra and threaten you with a high-pitched whine.
- Small, round body.
- Thick set, appears neckless, legless and earless.
- Short stubby tails.
- Small beady eyes, often barely visible.
- Long, thick, grey waterproof fur.
- Length: 12 cm
- Weight: 60 g
- Lifespan: 1 year
- Predators: Snowy Owl, gull, Wolverine, Arctic Fox, Ermine, Least Weasels, Red Fox
- Habitat: Tundra
- Yukon: Nearctic (S3S4); Ogilvie Mountain (S2); Brown (S5); Bog (S4)
- Global: Nearctic (G5); Ogilvie Mountain (G2); Brown (G5); Bog (G5)
Yukon population estimate
Lemmings are active day and night throughout the year. They live in colonies using scent to mark a small territory and indicate social status. Distinct calls are used to indicate alarm, threaten others, or courtship and mating.
Grasses, sedges; willow, aspen, birch twigs
Sights and sounds
Lemmings and people
- The fortunes of arctic trappers depend heavily on lemming population cycles, since Arctic Foxes and other furbearing animals depend heavily on lemmings as a food source.