Red Fox

Vulpes vulpes

Summary 3

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 Hemisphere from 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 as Least Concern for extinction by the...

Associated plant communities 4

Although red foxes can survive in many habitats ranging from arctic
barren areas to temperate deserts, they prefer areas with a mixture of
plant communities [1,5,30,36]. Red foxes are commonly associated with
grasslands, boreal forests, coniferous forests, deciduous forests, and
tundra [30]. In developed regions, red foxes are generally associated
with agricultural areas where woodlots are interspersed with cropland
and pastureland [36].

Schofield [27] found that red foxes in Michigan preferred lowland brush
and oak (Quercus spp.) woodlands but avoided swamps. In the Sierra
Nevada, California, red foxes are found primarily in upper elevation
forests associated with the Sierra Nevada Crest. During the summer they
prefer meadows interspersed with mature Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi),
lodgepole pine (P. contorta), or Shasta red fir (Abies magnifica var.
shastensis) forests. In winter red foxes prefer mixed-conifer and
ponderosa pine (P. ponderosa) forests [35]. In British Columbia red
foxes are most common in mixed forests that are interspersed with
meadows. Iowa red foxes are most numerous in hilly, wooded regions, but
they are also common in the flatter prairie corn belt. One of the
densest populations of red foxes in North America is in southwestern
Wisconsin where they inhabit areas which contain a mosaic of woodlots,
croplands, pasturelands, and stream bottoms [1].

Biology 5

The red fox is typically active at dusk (crepuscular) or at night (nocturnal), but is often active in the day in more undisturbed areas (3). The diet is extremely broad, and includes small mammals, many invertebrates, and birds, as well as fruit, carrion (3) and items scavenged from dustbins, bird tables and compost heaps (2).

Common names 6

red fox
fox

Conservation 7

The red fox is legislatively widely regarded as vermin and is therefore unprotected (3). In Britain, it is protected by closed seasons against hunting (3). No conservation measures are in place (3). Research into fox predation and control is being carried out by the Game Conservancy Trust (6).

Conservation actions 8

Conservation Actions

Not listed in CITES Appendices at species level. V. v. necator in the Sierra Nevada, California, USA, is rare, possibly declining (Nowak 1991). The subspecies griffithi, montana and pusilla (=leucopus) are listed as CITES – Appendix III (India).

Present in most temperate-subarctic conservation areas with the exception of some inaccessible islands in the Old World and South America. Widely regarded as a pest and unprotected. Most countries and/or states where trapping or hunting occurs have regulated closed versus open seasons and restrictions on methods of capture. In the European Union, Canada, and the Russian Federation, trapping methods are regulated under an agreement on international trapping standards between these countries, which was signed in 1997. Other countries are signatories to ISO/DIS 10990-5.2 animal (mammal) traps, which specifies standards for trap testing.

Foxes are highly persecuted and heavily hunted in Afghanistan, however, it is an adaptable species that produces large litters. Therefore the Government of Afghanistan has listed V. vulpes as a harvestable species (with regular monitoring of populations to ensure hunting does not qualify the fox for a protected status in the future).

In Europe and North America, hunting traditions and/or legislation impose closed seasons on fox hunting. In the UK and a few other European countries, derogation from these provisions allows breeding season culling for pest-control purposes. Here, traditional hunting ethics encouraging restrained "use" may be at odds with harder hitting pest-control ambitions. This apparent conflict between different interest groups is particularly evident in the UK, where fox control patterns are highly regionally variable (Macdonald et al. 2003). In some regions, principal lowland areas where classical mounted hunting operates, limited economic analyses suggest that the principal motive for these communal fox hunts is as a sport – the number killed is small compared with the cost of the hunting. In these regions, most anthropogenic mortality is by individual farmers shooting foxes. The mounted communal hunts do exhibit restraint – hunting takes place for a limited season, and for a prescribed number of days per week. Elsewhere, in upland regions, communal hunting by foot with guns and dogs may make economic sense, depending on the number of lambs lost to foxes (data on this is poor), and also on the current value of lost lambs. This type of fox hunting may also be perceived as a sport by its participants.

An individual deciding whether or not to control foxes, and by what means, has a complex set of factors to consider, including other interest groups, practicality and economics. For some farmers, there is evidence that a decision to control foxes may be economically perverse. Macdonald et al. (2003) modelled the interactions between foxes, rabbits, and rabbit-induced crop damage. For some farmers at least, a decision to kill a fox may, in some circumstances, cost that farmer a significant amount of crop loss to the rabbits that the fox and its descendants would have killed.

In addition to fur farms, Red Foxes are widely kept in small wildlife parks and zoos, but there appears to be no systematic data on their breeding success. Being extremely shy they are often poor exhibits.

Conservation status 9

Information on state- and province-level protection status of animals in the
United States and Canada is available at NatureServe, although recent changes
in status may not be included.

Cover requirements 10

More info for the term: cover

Dens - Red foxes may dig their own den; more often they use an abandoned
woodchuck (Marmota spp.) or American badger (Taxidea taxus) burrow
[1,5]. Dens are prepared in late winter at which time the female
restricts her activities to the vicinity of the den site. There is a
preference for loose soils on well-drained sites near or within
vegetative cover. Most red fox dens were located on slopes in Iowa, on
southerly facing slopes in woods in Wisconsin [25], in sandy soils near
the edges of woods in New York, and on islands in Maryland marshes [1].
The same den may be used for many generations, with burrows being added
each year. Most dens have at least two openings. Red fox dens with up
to 19 entrances have been found in Alaska [5].

Foraging cover - Red foxes often hunt in open grassy areas, especially
along streams [34].

Hiding and thermal cover - In agricultural areas, shelterbelts and
fencerows are used for hiding and thermal cover as well as travel
corridors [3].

Description 11

Red foxes are the most widely distributed wild carnivores in the world, occurring in North America, Asia, Europe, and North Africa. They are also widespread in Australia, where they were introduced in about 1850 so that fox-hunters would have something to hunt. Their range in North America has expanded since colonial times as their competitors, wolves, were eliminated, but their range has also contracted in areas where they are in competition with coyotes. Red foxes prey on voles, rabbits, hares, and other small mammals, and also eat birds, fruits, and invertebrates even beetles and earthworms. A male female pair typically inhabits a territory, and older, usually female, siblings help care for the younger offspring by bringing them food. Red foxes are among the main carriers and victims of rabies.

Links:
Mammal Species of the World
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Description 12

The size of a small dog, the red fox is the largest member of the genus Vulpes and is well-known for its large bushy tail, which is often tipped with white (3). The fur is variable in colour (3), but is usually reddish-brown to flame-red above and white to black below (5); the lower limbs and the back of the ears are often black (3).

Distribution 13

More info for the term: hardwood

Red foxes are the most widely distributed carnivore in the world. They
occur throughout most of North America (except in the Great Plains and
the extreme Southeast and Southwest), Europe, and Asia, and are found in
parts of northern Africa. They have spread throughout much of
Australia, where they were introduced in the late 1800's [30,36].

There is some question whether red foxes are native to North America.
Churcher [6] hypothesized that red foxes were native to North America north
of latitude 40 degrees North, but were scarce or absent in most of the
vast hardwood forests where common gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)
were abundant. Others believe that the North American red fox originated
from the European red fox, which was introduced into the southeastern
section of the United States around 1750. It may have interbred with
the scarce indigenous population to produce a hybrid population [10].
The distribution of the ten subspecies of red fox is as follows [5]:

V. v. abietorum - Occurs throughout western Canada
V. v. alascensis - Occurs in Alaska, and Yukon Territory, and the
Northwest Territories
V. v. cascadensis - Occurs along the northwest coast of the
United States and British Columbia
V. v. fulva - Occurs in the eastern United States
V. v. harrimani - Occurs on Kodiak Island, Alaska
V. v. kenaiensis - Occurs on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
V. v. macroura - Occurs throughout the Rocky Mountains
V. v. necator - Occurs in California and Nevada
V. v. regalis - Ranges from north-central Canada south to
Nebraska and Missouri
V. v. rubricosa - Occurs in southern Quebec and Nova Scotia

Food habits 14

Red foxes are omnivorous. They eat a variety of animals and plant
materials depending mainly on the availability of the food source.
Small mammals, birds, fruits, and insects comprise the bulk of the diet
[5].

Voles (Microtus spp.), mice (Muridae), woodchucks (Marmota monax) and
several lagomorph species (eastern cottontails [Sylvilagus floridanus],
snowshoe hares [Lepus americanus], and black-tailed jackrabbits [L.
californicus]) are often preferred [36]. In New York and New England,
meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) were the most commonly eaten prey
item. Rabbits (Sylvilagus spp.) were also commonly eaten. Throughout
most of the year in Ontario, meadow voles are the major prey,
constituting as much as 50 percent of the red fox's diet [36].

Red foxes may also eat squirrels (Spermophilus spp.), young Virginia
opossums (Didelphis virginiana), raccoons (Procyon lotor), skunks
(Mustelidae), domestic cats (Felis catus), domestic dogs (Canis
familiaris), weasels (Mustela spp.), mink (Mustela vison), common
muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus), shrews (Soricidae), moles (Talpidae),
common porcupines (Erethizon dorsatum), pocket gophers (Geomyidae),
songbirds, crows (Corvus spp.), ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus
colchicus), northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus), grouse
(Tetraoninae), waterfowl (Anseriformes), wild turkeys (Meleagris
gallopavo), domestic chickens, American woodcocks (Scolopax minor),
hawks (Accipitridae), owls (Strigiformes), bird eggs, turtles, and
turtle eggs. Plant foods such as grasses, sedges (Carex spp.), nuts,
berries, pears, apples, grapes, and corn, wheat, and many other grains
are eaten by red foxes. Livestock and big game are sometimes eaten as
carrion [1,5,30,36].

Seasonal variations are prominent in the diet of red foxes. The diet
generally changes from mostly animal matter in the winter to insects and
fruit in the summer and fall [5]. Red foxes show a strong preference
for certain wild berries and fruits. During seasons of abundance,
blueberries (Vaccinium spp.), raspberries (Rubus spp.) and black
cherries (Prunus serotina) may constitute almost 100 percent of the diet
[1].

Habitat 15

This highly adaptable species is found in many habitats, from sand dunes to mountain tops (2). It also occurs in urban areas (4), and seems to fare particularly well in affluent suburbs (3).

Habitat and ecology 16

Habitat and Ecology

Red Foxes have been recorded in habitats as diverse as tundra, desert and forest, as well as in city centres (including London, Paris, Stockholm, etc.). Natural habitat is dry, mixed landscape, with abundant "edge" of scrub and woodland. They are also abundant on moorlands, mountains (even above the treeline, known to cross alpine passes), deserts, sand dunes and farmland from sea level to 4,500 m. In the UK, they generally prefer mosaic patchworks of scrub, woodland and farmland. Red foxes flourish particularly well in urban areas. They are most common in residential suburbs consisting of privately owned, low-density housing and are less common where industry, commerce or council rented housing predominates (Harris and Smith 1987). In many habitats, foxes appear to be closely associated with man, even thriving in intensive agricultural areas.

Systems
  • Terrestrial

Habitat related fire effects 17

More info for the terms: fire suppression, shrubs

Red foxes commonly inhabit areas with a high proportion of edge. Fire
that creates a mosaic of burned and unburned areas is probably the most
beneficial to red foxes. Periodic fire may help to maintain habitat for
many prey species of red fox. Many small mammal populations increase
rapidly in response to an increase in food availability subsequent to
burning [14,19,22]. In Alaska red foxes should benefit during the
first 10 to 20 years following fire due to the increase in northern
red-backed voles (Clethrionomys rutilus) and meadow voles [38]. Fire
often improves hare and rabbit forage quality and quantity for two or
more growing seasons [19]. Wagle [37] reported that fire suppression in
grasslands is detrimental to populations of small bird and mammal
herbivores due to organic matter accumulation and reduced plant vigor.

Many fruiting shrubs that are important late summer and fall foods of
red foxes such as blackberries (Rubus spp.), blueberries, and
raspberries, do not fruit the year of burning but produce the most fruit
2 to 4 years after fire pruning [14,19].

Habitat: cover types 18

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

More info for the term: cover

Red foxes probably occur in most SAF cover types.

Known predators 19

Vulpes vulpes is prey of:
Accipitridae
Ursidae
Homo sapiens
Canis lupus
Canis latrans
Puma concolor

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.

Known prey organisms 20

Vulpes vulpes preys on:
Geomyidae
Marmota
Lepus
Arvicolinae
Tamias
Spermophilus
Peromyscus maniculatus
Microtus
Isoptera
Coleoptera
Hymenoptera
Auchenorrhyncha
Leporidae
Gerbillinae
Araneae
Cicindelidae
Camponotus pennsylvanicus
Rodentia
Phasianidae
Timaliidae
Pavo
Chelydra serpentina
Chrysemys picta
Trachemys scripta
Eumeces fasciatus
Thamnophis butleri
Lampropeltis triangulum
Anser anser
Anas fulvigula
Anas acuta
Anas americana
Aix sponsa
Fulica americana
Larus californicus
Larus canus
Chordeiles minor
Dendroica petechia
Didelphis virginiana
Sorex cinereus
Blarina brevicauda
Blarina carolinensis
Neurotrichus gibbsii
Parascalops breweri
Myotis grisescens
Sylvilagus floridanus
Sciurus carolinensis
Tamias alpinus
Tamias striatus
Thomomys talpoides
Dipodomys californicus
Dipodomys compactus
Dipodomys deserti
Dipodomys venustus
Peromyscus leucopus
Peromyscus boylii
Peromyscus polionotus
Microtus pennsylvanicus
Microtus xanthognathus
Microtus ochrogaster
Reithrodontomys megalotis
Rattus norvegicus
Mus musculus
Zapus princeps
Felis silvestris
Macropus bernardus
Onychogalea fraenata
Petrogale assimilis
Falcipennis canadensis
Eliomys quercinus
Muscardinus avellanarius
Petauroides volans
Gazella gazella
Procapra gutturosa
Clethrionomys glareolus
Sorex araneus
Miniopterus australis

Based on studies in:
USA: Montana (Tundra)
Russia (Tundra)
India, Rajasthan Desert (Desert or dune)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing 21

Maximum longevity: 21.3 years (captivity) Observations: One wild born female was still living in captivity at an estimated 21.3 years of age (Richard Weigl 2005).

Management considerations 22

More info for the terms: cover, shrubs

Habitat management - To enhance or maintain habitat quality for red
foxes, managers should maintain woodlots in agricultural areas with
minimal grazing or disturbance; this ensures diversity of understory
vegetation and foods. Establishment of fruit producing shrubs and trees
should be encouraged. Shelterbelts and fencerows should be maintained
to provide cover and travel corridors [3]. Timber harvest areas should
have irregular shapes to maximize edge effect [5].

Diseases - Red foxes are particularly susceptible to rabies. Rabies may
cause from 60 to 80 percent mortality in a population during an
outbreak. Red foxes are also susceptible to canine distemper,
parvovirus, toxoplasmosis, canine hepatitis, tularemia, leptospirosis,
staphylococcal infections, encephalitis viruses, and mange [2,5,33,36].
Red foxes host a large number of parasites (hookworms and roundworms)
typical of carnivores that feed on small prey [36].

Studies of the effects of red fox predation in the prairie pothole
region of North America have indicated that although the consumption of
mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) may not be high, the effect on the mallard
population may be critical [7,26]. Red fox predation on mice and
woodchucks has been beneficial to most agricultural areas. Red foxes
may play a role in controlling population explosions of rodents and
rabbits [36].

Population 23

Population

Red Fox density is highly variable. In the UK, density varies between one fox per 40 km² in Scotland and 1.17/km² in Wales, but can be as high as 30 foxes per km² in some urban areas where food is superabundant (Harris 1977; Macdonald and Newdick 1982; Harris and Rayner 1986). Social group density is one family per km² in farmland, but may vary between 0.2-5 families per km² in the suburbs and as few as a single family per 10 km² in barren uplands (Macdonald 1981; Lindsay and Macdonald 1986). Fox density in mountainous rural areas of Switzerland is three foxes per km² (Meia 1994). In northern boreal forests and Arctic tundra, they occur at densities of 0.1/km², and in southern Ontario, Canada at 1/km² (Voigt 1987). The average social group density in the Swiss mountains is 0.37 family per km² (Weber et al. 1999).

The pre-breeding British fox population totals an estimated 240,000 (Harris et al. 1995). Mean number of foxes killed per unit area by gamekeepers has increased steadily since the early 1960s in 10/10 regional subdivisions of Britain, but it is not clear to what extent this reflects an increase in fox abundance. Although an increase in fox numbers following successful rabies control by vaccination was widely reported in Europe (e.g., fox bag in Germany has risen from 250,000 in 1982–1983 to 600,000 in 2000–2001), no direct measures of population density have been taken.

Population Trend
Stable

Predators 24

Gray wolves (Canis lupus) and lynx (Lynx lynx) sometimes kill red foxes
[1,5]. Other large predators such as mountain lions (Felis concolor),
bobcats (Lynx rufus), and coyotes (Canis latrans) probably also
occasionally kill red foxes. Humans hunt and trap red foxes [1,5,36].

Preferred habitat 25

More info for the terms: hardwood, parturition

Red foxes can survive in a variety of habitats. They select areas of
greatest diversity and use edges heavily [1,5,36]. Dense forests are
usually avaoided. In rural areas they prefer diverse habitats
consisting of intermixed cropland, rolling farmland, brush, pastureland,
mixed hardwood stands, and edges of open areas that provide suitable
hunting grounds. Red foxes may also inhabit suburban areas,
particularly parks, golf courses, cemeteries, and large gardens [5].

Home range - The size of individual red fox home range varies. Home
ranges are generally not more than 5 miles (8 km) in diameter. During
the period of parturition and for a few weeks afterwards, adult red
foxes usually remain within 0.5 mile (0.8 km) of the den. Ranges are
largest during the winter [1]. Red fox home ranges tend to be
elliptical [5]. Storm [32] found that one adult male had a home range
1.9 miles (3.1 km) long by 1.4 miles (2.2 km) wide. Schofield [27]
followed tracks in the snow and estimated red fox home ranges to be 1 to
1.5 miles (1.6-2.4 km) in radius in Wisconsin. In Ontario red fox home
ranges in farmland averaged 2,224 acres (900 ha) but ranged from 1,235
to 4,940 acres (500-2,000 ha) [36]. In the arctic, home ranges are as
large as 8,400 acres (3,400 ha) [16]. Adult foxes may remain in the
same home range for life [1].

Range 26

Distributed throughout the northern hemisphere from the Arctic Circle in the north, as far south as north Africa (3), including much of North America, all of Europe and most of Asia, including Japan (1). They are found practically everywhere in mainland Britain, as well as on many islands (4).

Range description 27

Distributed across the entire northern hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to North Africa, Central America, and the Asiatic steppes, the Red Fox has the widest geographical range of any member of the order Carnivora (covering nearly 70 million km²). Not found in Iceland, the Arctic islands, some parts of Siberia, or in extreme deserts. European subspecies introduced into eastern United States and Canada in 17th century, subsequently mixed with local subspecies. The species was also introduced to Australia in 1800s. Elsewhere introduced to the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) and to the Isle of Man (UK), although it may subsequently have disappeared there.

Regional distribution in the western united states 28

More info on this topic.

This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

1 Northern Pacific Border
2 Cascade Mountains
3 Southern Pacific Border
4 Sierra Mountains
5 Columbia Plateau
6 Upper Basin and Range
7 Lower Basin and Range
8 Northern Rocky Mountains
9 Middle Rocky Mountains
10 Wyoming Basin
11 Southern Rocky Mountains
12 Colorado Plateau
13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont
15 Black Hills Uplift
16 Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands

Size in north america 29

Sexual Dimorphism: Males can be 15%-25% heavier than females.

Length:
Range: "827-1,097 mm "

Weight:
Range: 3-7 kg

Status 30

No legislative protection.

Taxonomy 31

The currently accepted scientific name for the red fox is Vulpes vulpes
Linn. Red foxes belongs to the family Canidae. Historically red foxes
were classified as two species, Vulpes vulpes in the Old World and V.
fulva in the New World, but today they are considered to be one species
[5,11,36]. Hall [11] recognizes ten subspecies of red fox:

V. vulpes abietorum Merriam
V. vulpes alascensis Merriam
V. vulpes cascadensis Merriam
V. vulpes fulva (Desmarest)
V. vulpes harrimani Merriam
V. vulpes kenaiensis Merriam
V. vulpes macroura Baird
V. vulpes necator Merriam
V. vulpes regalis Merriam
V. vulpes rubricosa Bangs

Red foxes interbreed with kit foxes (V. velox) [1].

Threats 32

Major Threats

The main threats include habitat degradation, loss, and fragmentation, and exploitation, and direct and indirect persecution. However, the Red Fox's versatility and eclectic diet are likely to ensure their persistence despite changes in landscape and prey base. Culling may be able to reduce numbers well below carrying capacity in large regions (Heydon and Reynolds 2000), but no known situations exist where this currently threatens species persistence on any geographical scale. There are currently bounties on subspecies V. v. pusilla (desert foxes) in Pakistan to protect game birds such as Houbara bustards (Chlamydotis undulata macqueenii), with a high hunting value.

The number of foxes raised for fur (although much reduced since the 1900s) exceeds that of any other species, except possibly mink (Mustela vison) (Obbard 1987). Types farmed are particularly colour variants ("white", "silver" and "cross") that are rare in the wild.

Worldwide trade in ranched red fox pelts (mainly "silver" pelts from Finland) was 700,000 in 1988–1989 (excluding internal consumption in the USSR). Active fur trade in Britain in 1970s was negligible.

Threats 33

Foxes are perceived as important predators of ground nesting birds, gamebirds, and livestock, and are therefore widely controlled (6). Most deaths are caused by road accidents, shooting and other methods of control, and secondary poisoning may also be a factor resulting in mortality (4). Furthermore, foxes are hunted with hounds in Britain; this is a contentious issue (2).

Timing of major life history events 34

More info for the terms: litter, polygamous

Breeding season - Red foxes are monestrous [1,5]. The red fox breeding
season generally lasts from December to March [1,5,36]. However, the
onset of breeding varies in different parts of red fox range, earlier in
the south and later in the north. Breeding in Ontario occurs from late
January to late March [36]. Breeding peaks occur from late December to
early January in Iowa, late January in Wisconsin, and late January and
early February in New York. The earliest recorded breeding dates for
red foxes in the United States are early December and the latest are in
April [1].

It is not known whether red foxes in the wild are normally polygamous.
However, it is common to see several males near a female during estrus
[36]. Estrus last 1 to 6 days. Females may breed at 10 months of age.
However, not all females breed their first year. Most males are capable
of breeding their first year [5].

Gestation and litter size - Gestation usually lasts 51 to 53 days.
Litters of four to seventeen have been reported, with a mean of five
[5,13,36]. Generally only one litter is produced per year.

Development of young - Newborn pups remain at the den for the first
month of life. They first open their eyes at 9 days of age. Red fox
parents may move the pups from one den to another as many as three times
before they are 6 weeks old. Litters are sometimes split with half the
litter residing in one den and half in another. Pups are weaned at 8 to
10 weeks. When pups are 10 weeks old they may travel short distances
from the den without being accompanied by a parent. At about 12 weeks
of age pups begin to explore their parents' home range independently or
with a parent [5].

Dispersal - By mid-September or early October pups begin to disperse.
Male red foxes usually disperse before females and move greater
distances [5]. Most red foxes disperse from their parents' home range
before their first birthday [36]. The mean distance dispersed by males
in Iowa and Illinois was 18 miles (29 km) [23]. In Ontario,
straight-line dispersal distances as great as 76 miles (122 km) were
recorded, but most males dispersed a straight-line distance of about 19
miles (30 km) during the first 15 days after leaving the den. Females
dispersed an average of 5 miles (8 km) in Ontario and 10 miles (16 km)
in Iowa and Illinois [23,36].

Social organization - The red fox social unit is comprised of pups and
either one male and one female or a group of one male and several
females [21]. When a group contains several females they are generally
kin. In much of North America, social groups are just pairs. Where
groups include additional adult females, the largest groups occur in
rural-suburban habitat and average more than three females. Only a
minority of females in large groups rear pups. Nonbreeding females
tend to be socially subordinate to breeding ones, and some act as
helpers. Where more than one female breeds within a social group,
communal denning and nursing are common [36].

Life span - Most red foxes in the wild live 3 or 4 years [1].

U.s. federal legal status 35

Vulpes vulpes necator is Under Review for listing [39].

Use of fire in population management 36

More info for the term: prescribed fire

Prescribed fire that favors small mammals by enhancing forage and fruit
production would probably maximize the abundance of food for red foxes.
Red foxes would probably benefit from prescribed fire that increases the
proportion of edge and the complexity of the vegetation mosaic.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Kim A. Cabrera, all rights reserved, uploaded by Kim Cabrera, www.bear-tracker.com
  2. (c) matt knoth, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND), http://www.flickr.com/photos/18158503@N00/2999079757
  3. Adapted by Kim Cabrera from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulpes_vulpes
  4. Public Domain, http://eol.org/data_objects/24645398
  5. (c) Wildscreen, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/2609507
  6. Public Domain, http://eol.org/data_objects/23421296
  7. (c) Wildscreen, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/2609509
  8. (c) International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/31303330
  9. Public Domain, http://eol.org/data_objects/24269428
  10. Public Domain, http://eol.org/data_objects/24645401
  11. (c) Smithsonian Institution, some rights reserved (CC BY), http://eol.org/data_objects/6625871
  12. (c) Wildscreen, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/2609504
  13. Public Domain, http://eol.org/data_objects/24645393
  14. Public Domain, http://eol.org/data_objects/24269431
  15. (c) Wildscreen, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/2609506
  16. (c) International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/31303328
  17. Public Domain, http://eol.org/data_objects/24645403
  18. Public Domain, http://eol.org/data_objects/24645396
  19. (c) SPIRE project, some rights reserved (CC BY), http://eol.org/data_objects/10540954
  20. (c) SPIRE project, some rights reserved (CC BY), http://eol.org/data_objects/10540953
  21. (c) Joao Pedro de Magalhaes, some rights reserved (CC BY), http://eol.org/data_objects/6705622
  22. Public Domain, http://eol.org/data_objects/24645402
  23. (c) International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/31303327
  24. Public Domain, http://eol.org/data_objects/24258477
  25. Public Domain, http://eol.org/data_objects/24645400
  26. (c) Wildscreen, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/2609505
  27. (c) International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/31303326
  28. Public Domain, http://eol.org/data_objects/24052357
  29. (c) Smithsonian Institution, some rights reserved (CC BY), http://eol.org/data_objects/16147019
  30. (c) Wildscreen, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/2609510
  31. Public Domain, http://eol.org/data_objects/23421295
  32. (c) International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/31303329
  33. (c) Wildscreen, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/2609508
  34. Public Domain, http://eol.org/data_objects/24645399
  35. Public Domain, http://eol.org/data_objects/23421304
  36. Public Domain, http://eol.org/data_objects/24645404

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