Blanford's fox

Blanford's fox (Vulpes cana), is a small fox found in certain regions of the Middle East and Central Asia.

Blanford's fox[1]
Blandford's fox 1
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Vulpes
V. cana
Binomial name
Vulpes cana
(Blanford, 1877)
Vulpes cana (distribution)
Range of Blanford's fox
  • Vulpes nigricans Shitkow, 1907[3]


Blanford's fox is named after the English naturalist William Thomas Blanford, who described it in 1877. It is also known as the Afghan fox, royal fox, dog fox, hoary fox, steppe fox, black fox,[4] king fox[4] (شاه‌روباه shāhrūbāh in Persian), cliff fox[4] or Baluchistan fox.[4]

The specific name, cana, is Latin for "hoary" (so the scientific name means "hoary fox", corresponding to one of the vernacular names of the species). [5]

Distribution and habitat

Blanford's fox inhabits semiarid regions, steppes, and mountains of Afghanistan, Egypt (Sinai), Turkestan,[6] northeast Iran, southwest Pakistan, the West Bank, and Israel.[7] It may also live throughout Arabia (Oman, Yemen, and Jordan), as one was trapped in Dhofar, Oman in 1984. Recent camera trapping surveys have confirmed the presence of the species in several places in the mountains of South Sinai, Egypt[8] and the mountains of Ras Al Khaimah, UAE,[9] and in Saudi Arabia.[10]

Blanford's fox possesses hairless footpads and cat-like, curved, sharp claws described by some authors as semiretractile.[11][12]

This fox has an ability to climb rocks and make jumps described as "astonishing", jumping to ledges 3 m above them with ease and as part of their regular movements and climbing vertical, crumbling cliffs by a series of jumps up vertical sections.[13] The foxes use their sharp, curved claws and naked footpads for traction on narrow ledges and their long, bushy tails as a counterbalance.[13]


Vulpes cana (Blanford´s fox) fur skin
Fur skin of Blanford´s fox

Like all desert foxes, the Blanford's fox has large ears which enables it to dissipate heat. However, unlike other desert foxes, it does not have pads covered with hair, which would otherwise protect its paws from hot sand. Its tail is almost equal in length to its body. Its coat is light tan, with white underparts and a black tip on the tail. Among all extant canids, only the fennec fox is smaller than Blanford's.[14]

Shoulder height: 12 in. (30 cm)

Head and body length: 17 in. (42 cm)[14]

Tail length: 12 in. (30 cm)[14]

Weight: 2–3.3 lb. (0.9–1.5 kg)[14]


Omnivorous, and more frugivorous than other foxes. It prefers seedless grapes, ripe melons and Russian chives when consuming domestic crops. In addition, it eats insects. The Biblical foxes in the vineyard mentioned in the Song of Songs 2:15, described as "little foxex who roun the vineyards" are most probably the frugivorous Blanford's foxes.


  • Time of mating: January–February.[6]
  • Gestation period: 50–55 days.[4]
  • Litter size: 2–4 kits.[4]
  • Lactation: 6–8 weeks days.[4]
  • Age at sexual maturity: 8–12 months.[4]
  • Longevity: Generally 4–5 years,[4] but reported to live up to 10 years.


While the IUCN has downgraded Blanford's fox to "least concern" as more has been learned about the breadth of its distribution across the Middle East, very little is known about this species and its vulnerabilities to the diseases of domesticated dogs that have so badly affected other canids. Currently, little competition exists with humans for habitat, and the fox is a protected species in Israel and protected from hunting in Oman and Yemen. Some fur hunting occurs in Afghanistan, and occasionally they may take poison intended for hyenas and other species.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 532–628. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ a b Geffen, E.; Hefner, R. & Wright, P. (2008). "Vulpes cana". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
  3. ^ Don E. Wilson; DeeAnn M. Reeder (16 November 2005). Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. 1. Smithsonian. p. 583. ISBN 978-1-56098-217-3.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Blanford's fox". Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife. 29 August 2007. Archived from the original on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
  5. ^ "canus - Wiktionary".
  6. ^ a b "Blanford's fox Distribution". Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife. 13 May 2004. Archived from the original on 16 September 2008. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
  7. ^ GBIF sighting records Archived 5 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ El-Alqamy H., Wacher T. J., Hamada A. & Rashad, S. (2003). Camera Traps; A Non-invasive Sampling Technique to Redefine the Large Mammals Fauna of South Sinai. Full Book-2003, Cat Specialist Group-IUCN
  9. ^ Llewellyn-Smith, R.E. (2000). A short note on Blanford's fox Vulpes cana in the mountains of Ras Al Khaimah. Tribulus 10.1:23–24.
  10. ^ Cunningham & Wronski (2009). "Blanford's fox confirmed in the At-Tubaiq Protected Area (norther Saudi Arabia) and the Ibex Reserve (central Saudi Arabia)" (PDF). Canid News. IUCN/SSC Specialist Group (12.4). ISSN 1478-2677.
  11. ^ Sillero-Zubiri, Claudio; Hoffman, Michael; and MacDonald David W. Canids: Foxes, Wolves, Jackals, and Dogs: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: IUCN; 2004. p206
  12. ^ Geffen, E., Hefner, R., Macdonald, D.W. and Ucko, M. 1992d. Morphological adaptations and seasonal weight changes in the Blanford’s fox, Vulpes cana. Journal of Arid Environments 23:287–292.
  13. ^ a b IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group. Canids: Foxes, Wolves, Jackals, and Dogs – 2004 Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan Archived 30 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Cambridge: IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group, 2004. p. 197.
  14. ^ a b c d Burnie D and Wilson DE (eds.), Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife. DK Adult (2005), ISBN 0789477645

Further reading

  • Abu Baker, M. A. et al., (2004). On the Current Status and Distribution of Blanford's fox, Vulpes cana Blanford, 1877, in Jordan (Mammalia: Carnivora: Canidae). Turk. J. Zool., 28: 1–6.
  • Geffen, E., R. Hefner, D. W. Macdonald & Ucko M. (1992). Habitat selection and home range in the Blanford's fox, Vulpes cana: compatibility with the Resource Dispersion Hypothesis. Oecologia 91: 75–81.
  • Geffen, E. (1994). Blanford's fox, Vulpes cana. Mammalian Species, 462:1–4.
  • Stuart, C.T. & Stuart, T. (1995). Canids in the southeastern Arabian Peninsula. Canid News 3:30–32.

External links

Alexander's kusimanse

Alexander's kusimanse (Crossarchus alexandri) is a genus of mongoose found in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.This species has a body length of 30 to 45 centimeters (12 to 18 inches) and weighs between 0.45 and 1.4 kg (0.99 and 3.09 lb). Its tail measures 15 and 25 centimeters (5.9 and 9.8 inches) in length.

It is known to share range with the Angolan kusimanse (Crossarchus ansorgei). It feeds on grubs, small rodents, small reptiles, crabs, and some fruits. It can produce 2 to 3 litters (2 to 4 young per litter) of young each year after a gestation period of 8 weeks. The young wean at 3 weeks old and reach sexual maturity at 9 months old.


The genus Arctocephalus consists of fur seals. Arctocephalus translates to "bear head."

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Cana (disambiguation)

Cana may refer to:

Cana, village mentioned in the Gospel of John as "Cana of Galilee", site of the Marriage at Cana

Marriage at Cana, Biblical event

Kafr Kanna, village in Israel often associated with the Marriage at Cana

Qana, village in Lebanon associated with the Marriage at Cana

The Wedding at Cana, painting by Italian artist Paolo Veronese

Kanah, a town and brook mentioned in the Book of Joshua in the Hebrew Bible

Cana, Yemen, ancient port city in Yemen, mainly a trading port of spices from India and Eastern coast of Africa

Čaňa, municipality in the Košice Region of eastern Slovakia

Cana, California, community in Butte County

Lorik Cana, Albanian footballer

Cana (length), unit of measurement

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Cana, Roccalbegna, village in Grosseto, Tuscany, Italy

Cana (radiolarian), a genus

Cana, a species name

Vulpes Cana is the binomial name of Blanford's foxCANA may refer to:

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CANA, United States military acronym for "Convulsive Antidote, Nerve Agent", the drug diazepam in injectable form

Convocation of Anglicans in North America


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Chinese ferret-badger (Melogale moschata)

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Wildlife of the United Arab Emirates

The wildlife of the United Arab Emirates is the flora and fauna of this country on the eastern side of the Arabian Peninsula and the southern end of the Persian Gulf. The country offers a variety of habitats for wildlife including the coast, offshore islands, mangrove areas, mudflats, salt pans, sand and gravel plains, sand dunes, mountain slopes, wadis and rocky summits. Because the terrain is so varied, it supports a greater number of species of plants and animals than might have been expected in this relatively small country.

Extant Carnivora species

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