RED FOX

Scientific Name: Vulpes vulpes
Order
Carnivora (carnivores)

Family
Canidae (coyotes, dogs, foxes, jackals and wolves)

Habitat & Range
The red fox prefers sparsely settled rolling farm areas with wooded tracts, marshes and streams. It is generally found at the forest edge with access to fields and glades rather than densely wooded areas. The red fox ranges throughout the United States and Canada (excluding the northernmost latitudes). It can also be found in Europe and Asia and has been introduced into Australia.

Identification
The red fox has orange-red fur on its back, sides and head. It has white fur under its neck and on its chest. It has a long bushy tail tipped in white, pointed black ears and black legs and feet.

Diet
As an omnivore, the red fox eats a variety of foods. Its diet includes fruits, berries and grasses. It also eats birds and small mammals such as squirrels, rabbits and mice. A large part of the red fox's diet is made up invertebrates including crickets, caterpillars, grasshoppers, beetles and crayfish. They will continue to hunt even after it is full, storing extra food under leaves, snow or dirt.

Reproduction & Lifespan
Mating season is January through March. Immediately after mating, a female red fox will build multiple dens so that in the event that one is destroyed, she can move to another. After about 2 months, she will give birth to a litter ranging from 1 to 10 kits.

The red fox has an incredibly high mortality rate of 1 to 2 years in the wild, but can live up to 12 years in captivity.

Fantastic Fact
All Ears
Similar to dogs, a red fox’s ears can indicate how it’s feeling. A playful fox will have perky ears, while one who is scared or submissive will point its ears backward until they are pressed against its skull. Ears pointed outward indicate a male courting a female or ridding an intruder.

 
 
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