Red fox
Vulpes vulpes

Red foxes have become the most widespread dogs in the wild, having overtaken grey wolves to the top spot. They are often included in folklore, with a reputation for being sly and cunning.

Around 40 subspecies.

Life span
In the wild, red foxes seldom live for more than seven years, but in captivity they live for up to 15 years.

Head and body length: 50-90cm, Tail length: 30-50cm, Standing height: 35-45cm, Weight: 6-10kg.

Physical Description
As the name suggests, red foxes have red/brown fur. This can vary in coloration and can give rise to black, silver or cross morphs. The long, bushy tail (brush) is often tipped with white fur, and the backs of the ears are black, as are part of the legs. They have slender muzzles, with white fur on the top lip, and some individuals have black tear marks. The chest is often white.

Red foxes are widespread across Europe (but absent from Iceland), Canada, USA, and in Asia from Japan to Indochina. They were introduced to Australia.

They are typically found in woodland and open country, but their presence in urban areas is increasing.

Red foxes are opportunist feeders and eat insects, earthworms, fruit, berries, wild birds, small mammals and scraps left by humans.

Red foxes are primarily active at dusk and night. They are solitary, but they very occasionally group together in a pack. Foxes forage alone in different parts of their territory, which may extend from 25 to 5,000 acres (10-2,000 hectares), depending on the habitat. Territories are marked by faeces and urine

Vixens come into heat once a year for one to six days. They give birth to four to seven cubs in a den (also called an earth), after a gestation period of 51-53 days. The cubs are weaned after seven to nine weeks, and become sexually mature after a year. The number of cubs and the time of year in which the vixen gives birth depends on food availability.

Conservation status
They are not considered to be endangered, and are the most widespread and abundant wild carnivore in the world.


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