Kit fox

The kit fox (Vulpes macrotis) is a fox species of North America. Its range is primarily in the Southwestern United States and northern and central Mexico. Some mammalogists classify it as conspecific with the swift fox, V. velox, but molecular systematics imply that the two species are distinct.[3]

Kit fox[1]
San Joaquin kit fox male
Male San Joaquin kit fox
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Vulpes
V. macrotis
Binomial name
Vulpes macrotis
Merriam, 1888
Kit Fox area
Kit fox range
  • arizonensis Goldman, 1931
  • arsipus Elliot, 1904
  • devius Nelson and Goldman, 1909
  • muticus Merriam, 1902
  • neomexicanus Merriam, 1903
  • nevadensis Goldman, 1931
  • tenuirostris Nelson and Goldman, 1931
  • zinseri Benson, 1938


The northernmost part of its range is the arid interior of Oregon. Its eastern limit is southwestern Colorado. It can be found south through Nevada, Utah, southeastern California, Arizona, New Mexico, and into western Texas.[4]


San Joaquin Kit fox B-40-13 08 20 1993
San Joaquin kit fox at the California Living Museum in Bakersfield

The endangered San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica) was formerly very common in the San Joaquin Valley and through much of Central California. Its 1990 population was estimated to be 7,000. This subspecies is still endangered, after nearly 50 years of being on the Endangered Species List. Officially this subspecies was listed March 3, 1967.[5] On September 26, 2007, Wildlands Inc. announced the designation of the 684 acre (277 ha) Deadman a Creek Conservation Bank, which is intended specifically to protect habitat of the San Joaquin kit fox.[6] However, the population continues to decline mostly due to heavy habitat loss. Other factors include competition from red fox, and the extermination of the gray wolf from California has left the coyote as the dominant meso-predator in kit fox territory bringing an imbalance in ecosystem relationships.


The kit fox is the smallest species of the family Canidae found in North America (except for specially bred domestic dog breeds like teacup Yorkshire.) It has large ears, between 71 and 95 mm (2.8 and 3.7 in), that help the fox lower its body temperature and give it exceptional hearing (much like those of the fennec fox). This species exhibits sexual dimorphism, with the male being slightly larger. The average species weight is between 1.6 and 2.7 kg (3.5 and 6.0 lb). The body length is 455 to 535 mm (17.9 to 21.1 in). The tail adds another 250–340 mm (9.8–13.4 in) to its length.[4]

It usually has a gray coat, with rusty tones, and a black tip to its tail. Unlike the gray fox, it has no stripe along the length of its tail. Its color ranges from yellowish to gray, and the back is usually darker than the majority of its coat; its belly and inner ears are usually lighter. It has distinct dark patches around the nose.[4]


The kit fox is mostly a nocturnal[7] animal, but sometimes ventures out of its den during the day. It usually goes out to hunt shortly after sunset, mostly eating small animals such as kangaroo rats, cottontail rabbits, black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus), meadow voles, hares, prairie dogs, insects, lizards, snakes, fish, and ground-dwelling birds. It will scavenge carrion. While primarily carnivorous, if food is scarce, it has been known to eat tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum), cactus fruits (Carnegiea gigantea) and other fruits. Different kit fox families can occupy the same hunting grounds, but do not generally go hunting at the same time.[4]


Kit foxes favor arid climates, such as desert scrub, chaparral, and grasslands. Good examples of common habitats are sagebrush Artemisia tridentata and saltbrush Atriplex polycarpa. They can be found in urban and agricultural areas, too. They are found at elevations of 400 to 1,900 meters (1,300 to 6,200 ft) above sea level.[4]


The kit fox is a socially monogamous species.[8] Male and female kit foxes usually establish monogamous mating pairs during October and November. Polygamous mating relationships have been observed. Pairs can change year to year. They mate from December to February, when they use larger family dens. Litters are born throughout March and April, usually containing one to seven pups, and average four pups. The gestation is 49 to 55 days. Pups do not leave the den until they are four weeks old. They are weaned after about eight weeks and become independent at five to six months old. They become sexually mature at 10 months. Both parents take part in raising and protecting their young. The average lifespan of a wild kit fox is 5.5 years. In captivity, they can live 12 years. One Californian study of 144 kit fox pups showed a 74% mortality rate in pups within the first year.[4][9]


  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. ^ IUCN SCC Canid Specialist Group (North America Regional Section) (2008). "Vulpes macrotis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 22 March 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern
  3. ^ Mercure, Alan; Ralls, Katherine; Koepfli, Klaus P.; Wayne, Robert K. (1993). "Genetic Subdivisions among Small Canids: Mitochondrial DNA Differentiation of Swift, Kit, and Arctic Foxes". Evolution. 47 (5): 1313–1328. doi:10.2307/2410150. ISSN 0014-3820. JSTOR 2410150. PMID 28564903.
  4. ^ a b c d e f ADW: Vulpes macrotis: Information. (2008-04-05). Retrieved on 2011-09-16.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Kit fox Gets Some Protection, In California, Environmental News Network, September 27, 2007
  7. ^ "Kit Fox". Digital Desert. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
  8. ^ Ralls, Katherine, Brian Cypher, and Linda K. Spiegel. "Social monogamy in kit foxes: formation, association, duration, and dissolution of mated pairs." Journal of Mammalogy 88.6 (2007): 1439-1446.
  9. ^ "Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotis): A Technical Conservation Assessment", 2006

External links

Arctic fox

The Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus), also known as the white fox, polar fox, or snow fox, is a small fox native to the Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere and common throughout the Arctic tundra biome. It is well adapted to living in cold environments, and is best known for its thick, warm fur that is also used as camouflage. On average, Arctic foxes only live 3–4 years in the wild. Its body length ranges from 46 to 68 cm (18 to 27 in), with a generally rounded body shape to minimize the escape of body heat.

The Arctic fox preys on many small creatures such as lemmings, voles, ringed seal pups, fish, waterfowl, and seabirds. It also eats carrion, berries, seaweed, and insects and other small invertebrates. Arctic foxes form monogamous pairs during the breeding season and they stay together to raise their young in complex underground dens. Occasionally, other family members may assist in raising their young. Natural predators of the Arctic fox are golden eagles, polar bears, wolverines, red foxes, wolves, and grizzly bears.


The biological family Canidae

(from Latin, canis, “dog”) is a lineage of carnivorans that includes domestic dogs, wolves, coyotes, foxes, jackals, dingoes, and many other extant and extinct dog-like mammals. A member of this family is called a canid (, ).The cat-like feliforms and dog-like caniforms emerged within the Carnivoramorpha 43 million years before present. The caniforms included the fox-like genus Leptocyon whose various species existed from 34 million years ago (Mya) before branching 11.9 Mya into Vulpini (foxes) and Canini (canines).Canids are found on all continents except Antarctica, having arrived independently or accompanied human beings over extended periods of time. Canids vary in size from the 2-m-long (6 ft 7 in) gray wolf to the 24-cm-long (9.4 in) fennec fox. The body forms of canids are similar, typically having long muzzles, upright ears, teeth adapted for cracking bones and slicing flesh, long legs, and bushy tails. They are mostly social animals, living together in family units or small groups and behaving co-operatively. Typically, only the dominant pair in a group breeds, and a litter of young is reared annually in an underground den. Canids communicate by scent signals and vocalizations. They are very intelligent. One canid, the domestic dog, long ago entered into a partnership with humans and today remains one of the most widely kept domestic animals.

Casey Ruggles

Casey Ruggles is a Western comic strip written and drawn by Warren Tufts that ran from 1949 to 1954.


Foxes are small-to-medium-sized, omnivorous mammals belonging to several genera of the family Canidae. Foxes have a flattened skull, upright triangular ears, a pointed, slightly upturned snout, and a long bushy tail (or brush).

Twelve species belong to the monophyletic "true foxes" group of genus Vulpes. Approximately another 25 current or extinct species are always or sometimes called foxes; these foxes are either part of the paraphyletic group of the South American foxes, or of the outlying group, which consists of bat-eared fox, gray fox, and island fox. Foxes live on every continent except Antarctica. By far the most common and widespread species of fox is the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) with about 47 recognized subspecies. The global distribution of foxes, together with their widespread reputation for cunning, has contributed to their prominence in popular culture and folklore in many societies around the world. The hunting of foxes with packs of hounds, long an established pursuit in Europe, especially in the British Isles, was exported by European settlers to various parts of the New World.

Katherine Ralls

Katherine S. Ralls (born 1939) is an American zoologist and conservationist who is Senior Research Zoologist Emerita at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park. Ralls' research interests are in the behavioral ecology, genetics, and conservation of mammals, both terrestrial and marine. Since 1980, she has focused on conservation biology, especially the genetic problems of small captive and wild populations.

Two mammals that she has studied extensively are the sea otter and the San Joaquin kit fox. Some of her research is on the genetic management of wild and captive animal populations.She obtained a BA in Biology from Stanford in 1960, an MS in Biology from Radcliffe College in 1962 and a PhD in Biology from Harvard in 1965. In 2005 she was granted an honorary fellowship in the Zoological Society of London.Ralls worked on the founding of the Society for Conservation Biology in the mid-1980s. In 1986, she and research associate Jonathan Ballou, (now research scientist emeritus at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute), developed an international workshop on genetic management for zoo animals. In 2017, Ralls, Ballou, and Richard Frankham published the first book on the genetic management of fragmented species populations, "Genetic Management of Fragmented Animal and Plant Populations."In addition to her Smithsonian appointment, Ralls is a Research Associate at the Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz.

Kit Fox Hills

The Kit Fox Hills are a mountain range in Inyo County, California.

List of nocturnal animals

This is a list of nocturnal alligator and groups of animals. Birds are listed separately in the List of nocturnal birds.


Lutrogale is a genus of otters, with only one extant species—the smooth-coated otter.

Mapimí Biosphere Reserve

The Mapimí Biosphere Reserve (Spanish: Reserva de la Biósfera de Mapimí) (established 1977) is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve located in the state of Durango in northern Mexico. It is one of three biosphere reserves representing the Chihuahuan Desert (along with Big Bend Biosphere Reserve and National Park in western Texas and Jornada Biosphere Reserve in New Mexico). The 342,388 hectares (1,321.97 sq mi) reserve is situated between the Neotropical and Neartic biogeographical regions, in the Bolsón de Mapimí 1,150 metres (3,770 ft) above sea level. It contains three core areas in the Sierra de la Campana, the Laguna de las Palomas, a salt lagoon, and a desert habitat called Dunas de la Soledad. It comprises fragile warm desert and semi-desert ecosystems and rich, highly adapted but vulnerable plant systems, mainly xerophytic matorral scrub, and animal species such as the puma (Puma concolor), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), sandhill crane (Grus canadensis) and the kit fox or zorrita del desiert (Vulpes macrotis) along with scrub and desert grasslands.The site is administered by the municipalities of Tlahualillo and Mapimí in Durango, Jiménez in Chihuahua and Sierra Mojada in Coahuila.

NWA Louisiana Tag Team Championship

The NWA Louisiana Tag Team Championship was a professional wrestling tag team championship in NWA Tri-State. A secondary title after NWA Tri-State Tag Team Championship, and complimenting the NWA Louisiana Heavyweight Championship, it was one of many state tag team championships recognized by the National Wrestling Alliance.

Some reigns were held by champions using a ring name, while others used their real name. There have been a total of 31 recognized individual champions and 18 recognized teams, who have had a combined 23 official reigns. The first champions were Frankie Kovacs and Gino Angelo, and the final champions were "Cowboy" Bill Watts and Buck Robley. At 175 days, The Assassin and The Angel's first and only reign was the longest. The teams of Danny Little Bear and Kit Fox, Frank Dalton and Danny Little Bear, and The Blue Demons are tied for the shortest reigns at 7 days each.

The team with the most reigns is The Blue Demons (Blue Demon #1 and Blue Demon #2) with three. Danny Little Bear has the most individual reigns with four. The following is a chronological list of teams that have been Louisiana Tag Team Champions by ring name.

NWA World Tag Team Championship (Salt Lake Wrestling Club version)

The Salt Lake Wrestling Club version of the NWA World Tag Team Championship was a professional wrestling championship for tag teams that was promoted between 1955 and 1959 in the Salt Lake Wrestling Club territory of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). Local promoter Dave Reynolds promoted the championship primarily in Utah, but would occasionally runs shows in Idaho and Washington state. Since the promotion was a member of the NWA, the Salt Lake Wrestling Club was entitled to promote their local version of the championship, as the NWA bylaws did not restrict the use of that championship in the same way they restricted the NWA World Heavyweight Championship to one nationally recognized championship. In 1957 there were no less than 13 distinct versions of the NWA World Tag Team Championship promoted across the United States.[Championships] Because the championship was a professional wrestling championship, it was not contested for in legitimate sporting events, but instead determined by the decision of the bookers of a wrestling promotion.The team of Guy Brunetti and Joe Tangaro were the first recognized champions in the Utah/Idaho region, being introduced as champions no later than December 29, 1955. Records are unclear as to how they won the championship. The championship was active until 1959 with at least 28 different championship reigns. In 1959 the team of Chico Garcia and Chet Wallick became the final champions, as the championship was abandoned when the Salt Lake Wrestling Club was going out of business. Brunetti and Tangaro ended up holding the championship three times, tied with Frank Jares and Great Sasaki for most championships as a team. The Bat held the championship four times, with four different partners, more than any other wrestler. Brunetti and Tangaro's third championship reign lasted at least 95 days, the longest of any reign. Brunetti and Tangaro's three reigns combined to be at least 237 days long. Due to lack of dates for some championship changes it is impossible to determine who held the championship for the shortest period of time; Bill Melby and Blue Avenger's 14 day reign from November 21 to December 10, 1956 is the shortest confirmed reign, but the possibility exists that a shorter reign actually happened.

Panoche, California

The unincorporated community of Panoche is located along Panoche Road in the southern, rural part of San Benito County, California, United States. The community is about 2.7 driving miles east of County Route J1. The county seat, Hollister, is roughly 35 miles (56 km) straight-line distance. The Fresno County line is about 3.7 miles (6.0 km) distant to the northeast. The area encompassed by San Benito County continues just over 20 miles (32 km) farther south where the south extent meets Fresno and Monterey counties.The US Geological Survey feature ID is 252760 and the NAD27 latitude and longitude are listed as

36°35′49″N 120°50′01″W. Elevation is shown as 1,220 feet (372 m) AMSL.The Panoche Inn is one of few area landmarks. The bar and restaurant is busy with motorcycle enthusiasts on weekends in sunny weather. Some customers camp at Mercey Hot Springs or ride off-road vehicles at a nearby Bureau of Land Management tract. The adjacent private grass airstrip is also used by local glider pilots in spring and autumn by agreement with the Inn owners. On the drive from Interstate 5, motorists will pass Little Panoche Reservoir: about 12.6 straight-line miles distant at 7.6 degrees off true north.

Panoche Valley grasslands are frequented by a variety of bird species of special interest, including Golden Eagle, Mountain Plover, Ferruginous Hawk, Prairie Falcon, Merlin, Mountain Bluebird, Loggerhead Shrike, Burrowing Owl, and Long-billed Curlew. The valley provides critical habitat, especially in winter, for these birds. Mammals in the area include three federally endangered species; the San Joaquin Kit Fox, Giant Kangaroo Rat, and Nelson's Antelope Squirrel. American Badger is also native to the valley. Endangered reptiles in the valley includes Blunt-nosed Leopard Lizard.

There is only one place in the entire world named Panoche, making it unique among the world's place names. It is thought that the name Panoche is derived from the local Indian word for a species of cane that once grew in the valley from which the Indians extracted panoche, a kind of sugar. It is believed that this is the origin for the name panocha, a popular Mexican and Filipino sugar (though processed somewhat differently from each other), and a pudding eaten during Lent in New Mexico and Southern Colorado.The ZIP Code is 95043. The community is inside area code 831.

Panoche Valley Solar Farm

Panoche Valley Solar Farm is a 130 megawatt (MW), utility-scale solar photovoltaic power station under construction in the Panoche Valley of Central California's San Benito County. Panoche Valley is crossed by a 230-kilovolt (kV) power line from the Moss Landing Power Plant.Originally proposed by Solargen Energy (later known as Nevo Energy), the project was purchased by PV2 Energy in April 2011, with Nevo Energy retaining a small equity interest, but no voting, governance or management input. In April 2012, PV2 Energy entered into a joint venture with Duke Energy, the largest utility in the United States. The project was eventually acquired by Con Edison in 2016.The project site consists of 4,717 acres (1,909 ha) of private land in the northern portion of the valley. It is used for pasture-based livestock grazing on native grassland habitat. In October 2010, the San Benito County Board of Supervisors approved the company’s environmental impact report. Originally proposed at 399 MW, the cost was estimated at approximately $1 billion. The project faced lawsuits from three environmental groups who charged that project would harm native species such as the giant kangaroo rat, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, San Joaquin kit fox, and various bird species. The project was downsized to 247 MW and eventually 130 MW in 2017 after a settlement was reached. It is scheduled to begin producing power by 2018.

Round Valley Regional Preserve

Round Valley Regional Preserve is a regional park just outside Antioch, CA and Brentwood, CA that is part of the East Bay Regional Parks (EBRPD) system. It is on Marsh Creek Road, approximately 5.2 miles (8.4 km) west of the intersection with Vasco Road. The park was begun in 1988, when Jim Murphy sold 700 acres (280 ha) of land to EBRPD. The land originally belonged to Mr. Davis' grandfather Thomas Murphy, an Irish immigrant, who had purchased the land in 1878 for a farming and ranching operation. The preserve has since expanded to encompass 1,911 acres (773 ha).The Round Valley parking area is one of the two staging areas and points of departure for tour buses that carry passengers into Vasco Caves Regional Preserve. Morgan Territory Regional Preserve adjoins Round Valley Regional Preserve on the Southwest. The park is near the edge of the Diablo range, and its wooded hills are a sharp contrast with the almost treeless flat land of the Central Valley, which begins a few miles farther east.

San Joaquin kit fox

The endangered San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica) was formerly very common in the San Joaquin Valley and through much of Central California. Its 1990 population was estimated to be 7,000. This subspecies is still endangered, after nearly 50 years of being on the Endangered Species List. Officially this subspecies was listed March 3, 1967. On September 26, 2007, Wildlands Inc. announced the designation of the 684-acre (2.77 km2) Deadman Creek Conservation Bank, which is intended specifically to protect habitat of the San Joaquin kit fox. However, the population continues to decline mostly due to heavy habitat loss. Other factors include competition from red fox, and the extermination of the gray wolf from California has left the coyote as the dominant meso-predator in kit fox territory bringing an imbalance in ecosystem relationships.

Sinopah Mountain

Sinopah Mountain (8,276 feet (2,523 m)) is located in the Lewis Range, Glacier National Park in the U.S. state of Montana. Sinopah Mountain rises prominently to the west of Two Medicine Lake. Sinopah means, ""kit fox" in Blackfeet, (who) was the Indian wife of Hugh Monroe (Rising Wolf) and daughter of Lone Walker, a powerful Blackfeet chief."

Swift fox

The swift fox (Vulpes velox) is a small light orange-tan fox around the size of a domestic cat found in the western grasslands of North America, such as Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. It also lives in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta in Canada, where it was previously extirpated. It is closely related to the kit fox and the two species are sometimes known as subspecies of Vulpes velox because hybrids of the two species occur naturally where their ranges overlap.

The swift fox lives primarily in short-grass prairies and deserts. It became nearly extinct in the 1930s as a result of predator control programs, but was successfully reintroduced later. Currently, the conservation status of the species is considered by the IUCN as Least Concern owing to stable populations elsewhere.Like most canids, the swift fox is an omnivore, and its diet includes grasses and fruits as well as small mammals, carrion, and insects. In the wild, its lifespan is three to six years, and it breeds once annually, from late December to March, depending on the geographic region. Pups are born anywhere from March to mid-May, and are weaned at six to seven weeks old.

The swift fox is closely related genetically to the kit fox (Vulpes macrotis), but occupies a different geographical range. The two have historically been regarded as different species for reasons basically related to size: the kit fox is slightly smaller than the swift fox, and the former has a narrower snout. However, hybrids between the two occur naturally where their ranges overlap, and some mammalogists classify the two as subspecies of a single species, usually treated as Vulpes velox (with the swift fox being described as V. velox velox and the kit fox as V. velox macrotis). The molecular genetics evidence is not conclusive however, and some of those who have used it continue to treat the swift fox and kit fox as separate species.

Vasco Caves Regional Preserve

Vasco Caves Regional Preserve is located on the eastern slope of Mount Diablo, on Vasco Road within eastern Contra Costa County, California. It was created to preserve wildlife habitats and California chaparral and woodlands native plant communities, and Native American rock art.


Vulpes is a genus of the Canidae. The members of this genus are colloquially referred to as true foxes, meaning they form a proper clade. The word "fox" occurs on the common names of species. True foxes are distinguished from members of the genus Canis, such as dogs, wolves, coyotes, and jackals, by their smaller size (5–11 kg) and flatter skulls. They have black, triangular markings between their eyes and noses, and the tips of their tails are often a different color from the rest of their pelts. The typical lifespan for this genus is between two and four years, but can reach up to a decade.For animals commonly known as "foxes", but which are not true foxes, see Fox#Classification.

Extant Carnivora species

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