Dozens of families in Sanikiluaq, an Inuit community in the Canadian Arctic, are combing the terrain for one of nature’s marvels — eiderdown, the warmest natural fibre.
The down of the eider, an Arctic duck found in Canada, Norway and Iceland, costs thousands of pounds a kilogram. It is harvested for a few weeks each year and after only three weeks the 2021 season is drawing to a close.
For hundreds of years the feathers have underpinned the survival of the Inuit of Hudson Bay. Climate change, which is driving hungry polar bears on to land, poses a significant threat to the ducks and their valuable down.
Female eiders, which have dark brown plumage and black stripes, scrape down from their breasts to keep
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