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Red Fox

General Fox Information    General Household Pest Control    Animals and Pests    Humane Live Animal Traps 
Red Fox    Gray Fox    Kit Fox    Swift Fox    Island Fox

Red Fox Picture

The red fox is the most familiar of all species of foxes because of its recognizable  reddish-brown fur.  It is a common animal around North America, North Africa, and  Eurasia.  It has been introduced in Australia where it is a threatened species.

There are  three species of the red fox found in India: the Tibetan fox, the Kashmir fox and the  Desert Fox. 
Brought into North America from Europe in the 1700’s for sport hunting, the  red fox is a popular prey for hunters and trappers.
The red fox is more commonly raised  on farms than any other wild animal because of their fur.  They were hunted for sport,  mainly in Great Britain with dogs and mounted hunters until February 18, 2005 when it  became illegal.Red Fox

Identified by its rusty red fur, white underbelly, and black ears and legs, the red fox is  distinguished differently from other foxes by the white color on the tip of its tail.  The  reddish tone in the fox’s fur can change from crimson to gold depending on the time of  year.  Two color variants of the red fox commonly occur:
The cross fox has reddish brown  fur and has a black stripe down its back and another across its shoulders.
The silver fox  ranges from strong silver to nearly black and is the most prized animal by furriers,  people who buy and sell furs. 

The red fox has gold to yellow vertically split pupils in its  eyes like a cat.  They can see as well as a cat and has been referred to as “the cat-like-canid.”  Its tail provides the fox ample balance while leaping and bounding.  The  red fox can run up to 45 mph.  They grow more fur during the autumn and winter months  to keep warm in colder environments and shed at the beginning of spring. 

Found from prairies to forests, the red fox shares its territories with raccoons, although  more numbers of them have been increasingly found in suburban areas because of their  adaptability.  They eat rodents, insects, fruits, worms, eggs, birds and other small  animals.  Primarily active at twilight, the red fox stalks its prey like a cat, gets as close as 
it can and then pounces on it and chases it.  They will bury any left over food to save it  for later.  Unlike other animals, the red fox hears low frequency sounds really well.  They  can hear small animals digging under the ground and will sometimes dig in the snow or  dirt to catch their prey.  The red fox uses a variety of vocalizations to communicate, from  a distinctive three-yip “lost call” to a shriek like the sound of a human scream.  They also  have an excellent sense of vision, smell and touch.

Mating around mid-January, the red fox gives birth to three to eight kits around the  middle of March.  The kits are weaned at nine weeks and start to hunt with their parents.  Until they are ready and able to hunt on their own, they eat regurgitated food given to  them by their mother and after a few weeks are given live prey to eat and “play” with.  Playing with live prey helps the kits develop the skills they will need when hunting.  They  remain with their parents until late summer or early fall.

The red fox uses several dens throughout its territory.  Large dens are used for winter  living, birthing and raising young while smaller dens are used for food storage and  emergency purposes.  A series of tunnels connect to the main den and the same den is  usually used over a number of generations.  Eluding predators, the red fox will circle and backtrack instead of fighting off their  offenders. They avoid coyotes, but will coexist in the same area competing for food.  The  red fox is a solitary animal and does not form packs like wolves.  Their territories will  overlap sometimes, but are regularly defended.  Scent glands above the fox’s tail are used  to mark its territory.

The red fox is usually taken by natural predators as young pups when they are not  protected by their parents.
Adult foxes may be attacked by coyotes and wolves, but their  main predators are humans who hunt and kill them for their fur.  Red foxes are considered  by many to be threats to poultry.  They have been known to target domestic birds if they  are not protected.  The red fox is also known to carry rabies and can transmit the disease  to humans and other animals. They do help around farms by controlling populations of  small rodents.

Credits: Our thanks to Lani Powell, who researched and wrote our fox articles!

General Fox Information    General Household Pest Control    Animals and Pests    Humane Live Animal Traps

Gray Fox    Kit Fox    Swift Fox    Island Fox    Red Fox