The Red Fox

Discription


The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is the largest of the true foxes and the most geographically spread member of the Carnivora, being distributed across the entire Northern Hemispherefrom the Arctic Circle to North Africa, Central America and Asia. Its range has increased alongside human expansion, having been introduced to Australia, where it is considered harmful to native mammal and bird populations. Because of these factors, it is listed asLeast Concern for extinction by the IUCN. Due to its presence in Australia, it is included among the IUCN's list of the "world's 100 worst invasive species".

Facts

Fast Facts

Type:Mammal

Diet:Omnivore

Average life span in the wild:2 to 4 years

Size:Head and body, 18 to 33.75 in (46 to 86 cm); Tail, 12 to 21.75 in (30.5 to 55.5 cm)

Weight:6.5 to 24 lbs (3 to 11 kg)


Diet

The red fox eats a wide variety of foods. It is anomnivore and 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 invertebrates like crickets, caterpillars, grasshoppers, beetles and crayfish. The red fox will continue to hunt even when it is full. It stores extra food under leaves, snow or dirt.


Mating habits

The red fox mates from January through March. The female will make one or more dens right after mating. The extra dens are used if the original den is disturbed. A little less than two months after mating, the female gives birth to a litter of between one and ten kits. The male brings the female food while she is caring for the kits. The kits start playing outside the den when they are about a month old. The mother begins feeding her kits regurgitated food, but eventually she will bring them live prey to "play" with and eat. Playing with live prey helps the young kits develop the skills they will need for hunting. The kits leave their mother when they are about seven months old.