• Canadian Geographic's first cover with a fox on it. (Image: Canadian Geographic Archives)

The fox made its first debut on a Canadian Geographic magazine cover in 2008. And why shouldn’t it? The frosty photo of an Arctic fox catered to our readers’ love of the Arctic and wildlife - hitting two proverbial birds with one stone. And, sly as it’s known to be, the fox drew readers into the issue to a beautiful collection of photos by Canadian-born polar photographer, Paul Nicklen — but not without ulterior motive.

Nicklen’s photos, timeless as they may seem, shouldn’t be mistaken as such. They provide a glimpse into how our polar ecosystems are changing, and what our planet stands to lose. Photo documentation such as this is an important tool. It can affect change by showing us what we stand to lose and increase public awareness about the challenges facing our planet.

Well played, Mr. Fox.