The Arctic tundra supports a variety of animal species, including Arctic foxes, polar bears, gray wolves, caribou, snow geese and musk-oxen. Until recently, the tundra acted as a carbon sink and captured huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as part of photosynthesis. Today, however, as the permafrost melts and dead plant material decomposes and releases CO2, the tundra has flipped from a carbon sink to a carbon contributor.
King Eider (Somateria spectabilis) is a large sea duck that breeds along Northern Hemisphere Arctic coasts of northeast Europe, North America and Asia. The birds spend most of the year in coastal marine ecosystems at high latitudes, and migrate to Arctic tundra to breed in June and July. They lay four to seven eggs in a scrape on the ground lined with grass and down.