- Genus/Species: Vulpes vulpes.
- Conservation Status: Not threatened.
- Location: The entire Northern Hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to North Africa, Central America and Asia.
Clever, Cunning and Fast
The red fox makes its home in wooded areas, prairies and farmland. It has a reddish coat that is white underneath and a big bushy tail with a white tip. Red foxes are not all red. Some are brown, some are black and others are silver in color. Even foxes that come from the same litter can be different colors! Red foxes live in family groups and are known for their cleverness and ability to adapt to different surroundings. They are usually active at night. During the day, they rest in forests, or ravines, curling their long bushy tails around themselves to keep warm. Red foxes have excellent vision, and keen senses of smell and hearing. They can make 28 different types of calls to communicate with each other!
The red fox is a lean hunting machine that’s built for speed. It is slinky and long legged and about the size of a small dog. The red fox stalks its prey, much like a cat. It gets as close as it can and then pounces on its prey. Its diet includes fruits, berries and grasses. It also eats birds and small mammals like squirrels, rabbits and mice. A large part of the red fox's diet is made up of crickets, caterpillars, grasshoppers, beetles and crayfish.
Red foxes are not under threat anywhere because of their ability to cope well around humans. They are not considered to be endangered and are the most widespread and abundant wild carnivores in the world.
Did You Know?
- The red fox will continue to hunt even when its tummy is full. It stores the extra food under leaves, snow or dirt, to be eaten later.
- Red foxes have large, upright ears and their hearing is so sharp that they can hear a watch ticking 40 yards away.
- A red fox’s tail is about one third of its length. It is used as a warm cover in cold weather and as a signal flag to communicate with other foxes.
- The male red fox is called a dog, while the female is called a vixen. A young fox is called either a 'Kit', 'Pup' or 'Cub'. A group of foxes is called a 'Skulk'.