Red fox

The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is the largest of the true foxes and one of the most widely distributed members of the order Carnivora, being present across the entire Northern Hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to North Africa, North America and Eurasia. It is listed as least concern by the IUCN.[1] Its range has increased alongside human expansion, having been introduced to Australia, where it is considered harmful to native mammals and bird populations. Due to its presence in Australia, it is included on the list of the "world's 100 worst invasive species".[3]

The red fox originated from smaller-sized ancestors from Eurasia during the Middle Villafranchian period,[4] and colonised North America shortly after the Wisconsin glaciation.[5] Among the true foxes, the red fox represents a more progressive form in the direction of carnivory.[6] Apart from its large size, the red fox is distinguished from other fox species by its ability to adapt quickly to new environments. Despite its name, the species often produces individuals with other colourings, including leucistic and melanistic individuals.[6] Forty-five subspecies are currently recognised,[7] which are divided into two categories: the large northern foxes, and the small, basal southern foxes of Asia and North Africa.[6]

Red foxes are usually together in pairs or small groups consisting of families, such as a mated pair and their young, or a male with several females having kinship ties. The young of the mated pair remain with their parents to assist in caring for new kits.[8] The species primarily feeds on small rodents, though it may also target rabbits, game birds, reptiles, invertebrates[6] and young ungulates.[6] Fruit and vegetable matter is also eaten sometimes.[9] Although the red fox tends to kill smaller predators, including other fox species, it is vulnerable to attack from larger predators, such as wolves, coyotes, golden jackals and medium- and large-sized felines.[10]

The species has a long history of association with humans, having been extensively hunted as a pest and furbearer for many centuries, as well as being represented in human folklore and mythology. Because of its widespread distribution and large population, the red fox is one of the most important furbearing animals harvested for the fur trade.[11]:229–230 Too small to pose a threat to humans, it has extensively benefited from the presence of human habitation, and has successfully colonised many suburban and urban areas. Domestication of the red fox is also underway in Russia, and has resulted in the domesticated red fox.

Red fox
Temporal range: 0.7–0 Ma
Middle Pleistocene – present
Fox - British Wildlife Centre (17429406401)
European red fox (V. v. crucigera) photographed at the British Wildlife Centre in Surrey, England.
Fox barks
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Vulpes
V. vulpes
Binomial name
Vulpes vulpes
Wiki-Vulpes vulpes
Distribution of the red fox
  presence uncertain
  • Canis vulpes Linnaeus, 1758
  • Canis alopex Linnaeus, 1758


Red fox kits (40215161564)
Juvenile red foxes are known as kits

Females are called vixens, and young cubs are known as kits.[12] Although the Arctic fox has a small native population in northern Scandinavia, while the corsac fox's range extends into European Russia, the red fox is the only fox native to Western Europe, and so is simply called "the fox" in colloquial British English.

The word "fox" comes from Old English, which derived from Proto-Germanic *fuhsaz. Compare with West Frisian foks, Dutch vos, and German Fuchs. This, in turn, derives from Proto-Indo-European *puḱ- 'thick-haired; tail'. Compare to the Hindi pū̃ch 'tail', Tocharian B päkā 'tail; chowrie', and Lithuanian paustìs 'fur'. The bushy tail also forms the basis for the fox's Welsh name, llwynog, literally 'bushy', from llwyn 'bush'. Likewise, Portuguese: raposa from rabo 'tail', Lithuanian uodẽgis from uodegà 'tail', and Ojibwa waagosh from waa, which refers to the up and down "bounce" or flickering of an animal or its tail.

The scientific term vulpes derives from the Latin word for fox, and gives the adjectives vulpine and vulpecular.[13]


Comparative illustration of skulls of red fox (left) and Rüppell's fox (right): Note the more developed facial area of the former.

The red fox is considered a more specialised form of Vulpes than the Afghan, corsac and Bengal foxes in the direction of size and adaptation to carnivory; the skull displays much fewer neotenous traits than in other species, and its facial area is more developed.[6] It is, however, not as adapted for a purely carnivorous diet as the Tibetan fox.[6]

Arctic foxDogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate XXVI).jpg

Kit foxDogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate XXV).jpg

Corsac foxDogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate XXVII).jpg

Rüppell's foxDogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate XXXV).jpg

Red foxDogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate XXII).jpg[14](Fig. 10)

Cape foxDogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate XXXIII).jpg

Blanford's foxDogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate XXXI).jpg

Fennec foxDogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate XXXVI).jpg

Raccoon dogNyctereutes procyonoides (white background).png

Bat-eared foxDogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes BHL19827472 white background.jpg


The species is Eurasian in origin, and may have evolved from either Vulpes alopecoides or the related Chinese V. chikushanensis, both of which lived during the Middle Villafranchian.[4] The earliest fossil specimens of V. vulpes were uncovered in Baranya, Hungary dating from 3.4-1.8 million years ago.[15] The ancestral species was likely smaller than the current one, as the earliest red fox fossils are smaller than modern populations.[4]:115–116 The earliest fossil remains of the modern species date back to the mid-Pleistocene in association with the refuse of early human settlements. This has led to the theory that the red fox was hunted by primitive humans as both a source of food and pelts.[16]

Colonisation of North America

Red foxes colonised the North American continent in two waves: during or before the Illinoian glaciation, and during the Wisconsinan glaciation.[17] Gene mapping demonstrates that red foxes in North America have been isolated from their Old World counterparts for over 400,000 years, thus raising the possibility that speciation has occurred, and that the previous binomial name of Vulpes fulva may be valid.[18] In the far north, red fox fossils have been found in Sangamonian Stage deposits in the Fairbanks District and Medicine Hat. Fossils dating from the Wisconsian are present in 25 sites in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming. Although they ranged far south during the Wisconsinan, the onset of warm conditions shrank their range toward the north, and have only recently reclaimed their former American ranges because of human-induced environmental changes.[5] Genetic testing indicates two distinct red fox refugia exist in North America, which have been separated since the Wisconsinan. The northern (or boreal) refugium occurs in Alaska and western Canada, and consists of the large subspecies V. v. alascensis, V. v. abietorum, V. v. regalis, and V. v. rubricosa. The southern (or montane) refugium occurs in the subalpine parklands and alpine meadows of the Rocky Mountains, the Cascade Range, and Sierra Nevada. It encompasses the subspecies V. v. macroura, V. v. cascadensis, and V. v. necator. The latter clade has been separated from all other red fox populations since the last glacial maximum, and may possess unique ecological or physiological adaptations.[17]

Although European foxes were introduced to portions of the United States in the 1900s recent genetic investigation indicates an absence of European fox haplotypes in any North American populations.[19] Also, introduced eastern red foxes have colonized southern California, the San Joaquin Valley, and San Francisco Bay Area, but appear to have mixed with the Sacramento Valley red fox (V. fulva patwin) only in a narrow hybrid zone.[20] In addition, no evidence is seen of interbreeding of eastern red foxes in California with the montane Sierra Nevada red fox V. v. necator or other populations in the Intermountain West (between the Rocky Mountains to the east and the Cascade and Sierra Nevada ranges to the west.[21]


The 3rd edition of Mammal Species of the World[7] listed 45 subspecies as valid. In 2010, another distinct subspecies, which inhabits the grasslands of the Sacramento Valley, V. v. patwin, was identified through mitochondrial haplotype studies.[22] Castello (2018) recognized 30 subspecies of the Old World red fox and 9 subspecies of the North American red fox as valid.[23]

Substantial gene pool mixing between different subspecies is known; British red foxes have crossbred extensively with foxes imported from Germany, France, Belgium, Sardinia, and possibly Siberia and Scandinavia.[24]:140 However, genetic studies suggest very little differences between red foxes sampled across Europe.[25][26] Lack of genetic diversity is consistent with the red fox being a highly vagile species, with one red fox covering 320 km (200 mi) in under a year's time.[27]

Skull of a northern fox
Skull of a southern grey desert fox

Red fox subspecies in Eurasia and North Africa are divided into two categories:[6]

  • Northern foxes are large and brightly coloured.
  • Southern grey desert foxes include the Asian subspecies V. v. griffithi, V. v. pusilla, and V. v. flavescens. These foxes display transitional features between northern red foxes and smaller fox species; their skulls possess more primitive, neotenous traits than the northern forms,[6] and they are much smaller; the maximum sizes attained by southern foxes are invariably less than the average sizes of northern foxes. Their limbs are also longer, and their ears larger.[6]

Red foxes living in Middle Asia show physical traits intermediate to the northern and southern forms.[6]



Yawning red and corsac fox
Red fox (left) and corsac fox (right) yawning

The red fox has an elongated body and relatively short limbs. The tail, which is longer than half the body length[6] (70 per cent of head and body length),[36] is fluffy and reaches the ground when in a standing position. Their pupils are oval and vertically oriented.[6] Nictitating membranes are present, but move only when the eyes are closed. The forepaws have five digits, while the hind feet have only four and lack dewclaws.[8] They are very agile, being capable of jumping over 2-metre-high (6 ft 7 in) fences, and swim well.[37] Vixens normally have four pairs of teats,[6] though vixens with seven, nine, or ten teats are not uncommon.[8] The testes of males are smaller than those of Arctic foxes.[6]

Their skulls are fairly narrow and elongated, with small braincases. Their canine teeth are relatively long. Sexual dimorphism of the skull is more pronounced than in corsac foxes, with female red foxes tending to have smaller skulls than males, with wider nasal regions and hard palates, as well as having larger canines.[6] Their skulls are distinguished from those of dogs by their narrower muzzles, less crowded premolars, more slender canine teeth, and concave rather than convex profiles.[8]


Red foxes are the largest species of the genus Vulpes.[38] However, relative to dimensions, red foxes are much lighter than similarly sized dogs of the genus Canis. Their limb bones, for example, weigh 30 percent less per unit area of bone than expected for similarly sized dogs.[39] They display significant individual, sexual, age and geographical variation in size. On average, adults measure 35–50 cm (14–20 in) high at the shoulder and 45–90 cm (18–35 in) in body length with tails measuring 30–55.5 cm (11.8–21.9 in). The ears measure 7.7–12.5 cm (3–5 in) and the hind feet 12–18.5 cm (5–7 in). Weights range from 2.2–14 kg (5–31 lb), with vixens typically weighing 15–20% less than males.[40][41] Adult red foxes have skulls measuring 129–167 mm (5.1–6.6 in), while those of vixens measure 128–159 mm (5.0–6.3 in).[6] The forefoot print measures 60 mm (2.4 in) in length and 45 mm (1.8 in) in width, while the hind foot print measures 55 mm (2.2 in) long and 38 mm (1.5 in) wide. They trot at a speed of 6–13 km/h (4–8 mph), and have a maximum running speed of 50 km/h (30 mph). They have a stride of 25–35 cm (9.8–13.8 in) when walking at a normal pace.[39]:36 North American red foxes are generally lightly built, with comparatively long bodies for their mass and have a high degree of sexual dimorphism. British red foxes are heavily built, but short, while continental European red foxes are closer to the general average among red fox populations.[42] The largest red fox on record in Great Britain was a 17.2 kg (38 lb), 1.4-metre (4 ft 7 in) long male, killed in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, in early 2012.[43]


The winter fur is dense, soft, silky and relatively long. For the northern foxes, the fur is very long, dense and fluffy, but is shorter, sparser and coarser in southern forms.[6] Among northern foxes, the North American varieties generally have the silkiest guard hairs,[11]:231 while most Eurasian red foxes have coarser fur.[11]:235 There are three main colour morphs; red, silver/black and cross (see Mutations).[36] In the typical red morph, their coats are generally bright reddish-rusty with yellowish tints. A stripe of weak, diffuse patterns of many brown-reddish-chestnut hairs occurs along the spine. Two additional stripes pass down the shoulder blades, which, together with the spinal stripe, form a cross. The lower back is often a mottled silvery colour. The flanks are lighter coloured than the back, while the chin, lower lips, throat and front of the chest are white. The remaining lower surface of the body is dark, brown or reddish.[6] During lactation, the belly fur of vixens may turn brick red.[8] The upper parts of the limbs are rusty reddish, while the paws are black. The frontal part of the face and upper neck is bright brownish-rusty red, while the upper lips are white. The backs of the ears are black or brownish-reddish, while the inner surface is whitish. The top of the tail is brownish-reddish, but lighter in colour than the back and flanks. The underside of the tail is pale grey with a straw-coloured tint. A black spot, the location of the supracaudal gland, is usually present at the base of the tail. The tip of the tail is white.[6]


Vulpes vulpes colour variations
Various red fox colour mutations
Beijingzoo white fox
White morph red foxes may be distinguished from Arctic foxes by their 25% greater size, longer muzzles, and longer, pointed ears.[44] This captive example shows the dark pigment of the eyes, nose, and lips that would not occur in an albino. Complete albinism in red foxes is rare and primarily occurs in southern forest zones. Typically, albinism is accompanied by deformations and usually develops in years of insufficient food.[6]

Atypical colourations in red foxes usually represent stages toward full melanism,[6] and mostly occur in cold regions.[9]

Colour variant Image Description
Red Red fox fur skin (Sweden).jpg The typical colouration. See Fur
Grey The rump and spine is brown or grey with light yellowish bands on the guard hairs. The cross on the shoulders is brown, rusty brown or brownish-reddish. The limbs are brown[6]
Cross Vulpes vulpes (cross fox) Norway & Canada.jpg The fur has a darker colouration to the former. The rump and lower back are dark brown or dark grey, with varying degrees of silver on the guard hairs. The cross on the shoulders is black or brown, sometimes with light silvery fur. The feet and head are brown[6]
Blackish-brown The melanistic form of the Eurasian red fox. Has blackish-brown or black skin with a light-brownish tint. The skin usually has an admixture of various amounts of silver. Reddish hairs are either completely absent or in small quantities[6]
Silver Vulpes vulpes - silver fox fur skin.jpg The melanistic form of the North American red fox, but introduced to the Old World by the fur trade. Characterised by pure black colour with a variable admixture of silver (covering 25–100% of the skin area)[6]
Platinum Vulpes vulpes (Platinum fox) fur skin.jpg Distinguished from the silver morph by its pale, almost silver-white fur with a bluish cast[11]:251
Amber Vulpes vulpes (Amber fox) fur skin.jpg
Samson Vulpes vulpes Mutation.jpg Distinguished by its woolly pelt, which lacks guard hairs[11]:230


Red foxes have binocular vision,[8] but their sight reacts mainly to movement. Their auditory perception is acute, being able to hear black grouse changing roosts at 600 paces, the flight of crows at 0.25–0.5 kilometres (0.16–0.31 mi) and the squeaking of mice at about 100 metres (330 ft).[6] They are capable of locating sounds to within one degree at 700–3,000 Hz, though less accurately at higher frequencies.[37] Their sense of smell is good, but weaker than that of specialised dogs.[6]

Scent glands

Red foxes have a pair of anal sacs lined by sebaceous glands, both of which open through a single duct. The anal sacs act as fermentation chambers in which aerobic and anaerobic bacteria convert sebum into odorous compounds, including aliphatic acids. The oval-shaped caudal gland is 25 mm (1.0 in) long and 13 mm (0.51 in) wide, and reportedly smells of violets.[6] The presence of foot glands is equivocal. The interdigital cavities are deep, with a reddish tinge and smell strongly. Sebaceous glands are present on the angle of the jaw and mandible.[8]


Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) -British Wildlife Centre-8
A pair of European red foxes at the British Wildlife Centre, Surrey, England

Social and territorial behaviour

Red foxes either establish stable home ranges within particular areas or are itinerant with no fixed abode.[39]:117 They use their urine to mark their territories.[45] A male fox raises one hind leg and his urine is sprayed forward in front of him, whereas a female fox squats down so that the urine is sprayed in the ground between the hind legs.[46] Urine is also used to mark empty cache sites, used to store found food, as reminders not to waste time investigating them.[39]:125 [47][48] The use of up to 12 different urination postures allows them to precisely control the position of the scent mark.[49] Red foxes live in family groups sharing a joint territory. In favourable habitats and/or areas with low hunting pressure, subordinate foxes may be present in a range. Subordinate foxes may number one or two, sometimes up to eight in one territory. These subordinates could be formerly dominant animals, but are mostly young from the previous year, who act as helpers in rearing the breeding vixen's kits. Alternatively, their presence has been explained as being in response to temporary surpluses of food unrelated to assisting reproductive success. Non-breeding vixens will guard, play, groom, provision and retrieve kits,[8] an example of kin selection. Red foxes may leave their families once they reach adulthood if the chances of winning a territory of their own are high. If not, they will stay with their parents, at the cost of postponing their own reproduction.[39]:140–141

Reproduction and development

Red foxes mating (2)
A pair of Cascade red foxes (V. v. cascadensis) mating
Red fox kit 3 (Vulpes vulpes)
European red fox kit in Oxfordshire
Kits coming out of their den

Red foxes reproduce once a year in spring. Two months prior to oestrus (typically December), the reproductive organs of vixens change shape and size. By the time they enter their oestrus period, their uterine horns double in size, and their ovaries grow 1.5–2 times larger. Sperm formation in males begins in August–September, with the testicles attaining their greatest weight in December–February.[6] The vixen's oestrus period lasts three weeks,[8] during which the dog-foxes mate with the vixens for several days, often in burrows. The male's bulbus glandis enlarges during copulation,[9] forming a copulatory tie which may last for more than an hour.[8] The gestation period lasts 49–58 days.[6] Though foxes are largely monogamous,[50] DNA evidence from one population indicated large levels of polygyny, incest and mixed paternity litters.[8] Subordinate vixens may become pregnant, but usually fail to whelp, or have their kits killed postpartum by either the dominant female or other subordinates.[8]

The average litter size consists of four to six kits, though litters of up to 13 kits have occurred.[6] Large litters are typical in areas where fox mortality is high.[39]:93 Kits are born blind, deaf and toothless, with dark brown fluffy fur. At birth, they weigh 56–110 g (2.0–3.9 oz) and measure 14.5 cm (5.7 in) in body length and 7.5 cm (3.0 in) in tail length. At birth, they are short-legged, large-headed and have broad chests.[6] Mothers remain with the kits for 2–3 weeks, as they are unable to thermoregulate. During this period, the fathers or barren vixens feed the mothers.[8] Vixens are very protective of their kits, and have been known to even fight off terriers in their defence.[24]:21–22 If the mother dies before the kits are independent, the father takes over as their provider.[24]:13 The kits' eyes open after 13–15 days, during which time their ear canals open and their upper teeth erupt, with the lower teeth emerging 3–4 days later.[6] Their eyes are initially blue, but change to amber at 4–5 weeks. Coat colour begins to change at three weeks of age, when the black eye streak appears. By one month, red and white patches are apparent on their faces. During this time, their ears erect and their muzzles elongate.[8] Kits begin to leave their dens and experiment with solid food brought by their parents at the age of 3–4 weeks. The lactation period lasts 6–7 weeks.[6] Their woolly coats begin to be coated by shiny guard hairs after 8 weeks.[8] By the age of 3–4 months, the kits are long-legged, narrow-chested and sinewy. They reach adult proportions at the age of 6–7 months.[6] Some vixens may reach sexual maturity at the age of 9–10 months, thus bearing their first litters at one year of age.[6] In captivity, their longevity can be as long as 15 years, though in the wild they typically do not survive past 5 years of age.[51]

Denning behaviour

Side and above view of a red fox den

Outside the breeding season, most red foxes favour living in the open, in densely vegetated areas, though they may enter burrows to escape bad weather.[8] Their burrows are often dug on hill or mountain slopes, ravines, bluffs, steep banks of water bodies, ditches, depressions, gutters, in rock clefts and neglected human environments. Red foxes prefer to dig their burrows on well drained soils. Dens built among tree roots can last for decades, while those dug on the steppes last only several years.[6] They may permanently abandon their dens during mange outbreaks, possibly as a defence mechanism against the spread of disease.[8] In the Eurasian desert regions, foxes may use the burrows of wolves, porcupines and other large mammals, as well as those dug by gerbil colonies. Compared to burrows constructed by Arctic foxes, badgers, marmots and corsac foxes, red fox dens are not overly complex. Red fox burrows are divided into a den and temporary burrows, which consist only of a small passage or cave for concealment. The main entrance of the burrow leads downwards (40–45°) and broadens into a den, from which numerous side tunnels branch. Burrow depth ranges from 0.5–2.5 metres (1 ft 8 in–8 ft 2 in), rarely extending to ground water. The main passage can reach 17 m (56 ft) in length, standing an average of 5–7 m (16–23 ft). In spring, red foxes clear their dens of excess soil through rapid movements, first with the forepaws then with kicking motions with their hind legs, throwing the discarded soil over 2 m (6 ft 7 in) from the burrow. When kits are born, the discarded debris is trampled, thus forming a spot where the kits can play and receive food.[6] They may share their dens with woodchucks[9] or badgers.[6] Unlike badgers, which fastidiously clean their earths and defecate in latrines, red foxes habitually leave pieces of prey around their dens.[24]:15–17> The average sleep time of a captive red fox is 9.8 hours per day.[52]


Body language

Lis (Vulpes vulpes) WOB
A European red fox (V. vulpes crucigera) in an inquisitive posture
Fox study 6
A European red fox (V. vulpes crucigera) in an alert posture

Red fox body language consists of movements of the ears, tail and postures, with their body markings emphasising certain gestures. Postures can be divided into aggressive/dominant and fearful/submissive categories. Some postures may blend the two together.[39]:42–43

Red foxes fighting
A pair of Wasatch mountain foxes (V. v. macroura) squabbling

Inquisitive foxes will rotate and flick their ears whilst sniffing. Playful individuals will perk their ears and rise on their hind legs. Male foxes courting females, or after successfully evicting intruders, will turn their ears outwardly, and raise their tails in a horizontal position, with the tips raised upward. When afraid, red foxes grin in submission, arching their backs, curving their bodies, crouching their legs and lashing their tails back and forth with their ears pointing backwards and pressed against their skulls. When merely expressing submission to a dominant animal, the posture is similar, but without arching the back or curving the body. Submissive foxes will approach dominant animals in a low posture, so that their muzzles reach up in greeting. When two evenly matched foxes confront each other over food, they approach each other sideways and push against each other's flanks, betraying a mixture of fear and aggression through lashing tails and arched backs without crouching and pulling their ears back without flattening them against their skulls. When launching an assertive attack, red foxes approach directly rather than sideways, with their tails aloft and their ears rotated sideways.[39] During such fights, red foxes will stand on each other's upper bodies with their forelegs, using open mouthed threats. Such fights typically only occur among juveniles or adults of the same sex.[8]


Red foxes have a wide vocal range, and produce different sounds spanning five octaves, which grade into each other.[39]:28 Recent analyses identify 12 different sounds produced by adults and 8 by kits.[8] The majority of sounds can be divided into "contact" and "interaction" calls. The former vary according to the distance between individuals, while the latter vary according to the level of aggression.[39]:28

  • Contact calls: The most commonly heard contact call is a three to five syllable barking "wow wow wow" sound, which is often made by two foxes approaching one another. This call is most frequently heard from December to February (when they can be confused with the territorial calls of tawny owls). The "wow wow wow" call varies according to individual; captive foxes have been recorded to answer pre-recorded calls of their pen-mates, but not those of strangers. Kits begin emitting the "wow wow wow" call at the age of 19 days, when craving attention. When red foxes draw close together, they emit trisyllabic greeting warbles similar to the clucking of chickens. Adults greet their kits with gruff huffing noises.[39]:28
  • Interaction calls: When greeting one another, red foxes emit high pitched whines, particularly submissive animals. A submissive fox approached by a dominant animal will emit a ululating siren-like shriek. During aggressive encounters with conspecifics, they emit a throaty rattling sound, similar to a ratchet, called "gekkering". Gekkering occurs mostly during the courting season from rival males or vixens rejecting advances.[39]:28
Fox barks, UK, January 1977

Another call that does not fit into the two categories is a long, drawn out, monosyllabic "waaaaah" sound. As it is commonly heard during the breeding season, it is thought to be emitted by vixens summoning males. When danger is detected, foxes emit a monosyllabic bark. At close quarters, it is a muffled cough, while at long distances it is sharper. Kits make warbling whimpers when nursing, these calls being especially loud when they are dissatisfied.[39]:28


Diet, hunting and feeding behaviour

Red fox with nutria
Red fox with coypu

Red foxes are omnivores with a highly varied diet. Research conducted in the former Soviet Union showed red foxes consuming over 300 animal species and a few dozen species of plants.[6] They primarily feed on small rodents like voles, mice, ground squirrels, hamsters, gerbils,[6] woodchucks, pocket gophers and deer mice.[9] Secondary prey species include birds (with passeriformes, galliformes and waterfowl predominating), leporids, porcupines, raccoons, opossums, reptiles, insects, other invertebrates and flotsam (marine mammals, fish and echinoderms).[6][9] On very rare occasions, foxes may attack young or small ungulates.[6] They typically target mammals up to about 3.5 kg (7.7 lb) in weight, and they require 500 grams (18 oz) of food daily.[37] Red foxes readily eat plant material, and in some areas fruit can amount to 100% of their diet in autumn. Commonly consumed fruits include blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, persimmons, mulberries, apples, plums, grapes, and acorns. Other plant material includes grasses, sedges and tubers.[9]

Red foxes are implicated in the predation of game and song birds, hares, rabbits, muskrats, and young ungulates, particularly in preserves, reserves, and hunting farms where ground nesting birds are protected and raised, as well as in poultry farms.[6]

While the popular consensus is that olfaction is very important for hunting,[53] two studies that experimentally investigated the role of olfactory, auditory, and visual cues found that visual cues are the most important ones for hunting in red foxes[54] and coyotes.[55][56]

Red foxes prefer to hunt in the early morning hours before sunrise and late evening.[6] Although they typically forage alone, they may aggregate in resource-rich environments.[51] When hunting mouse-like prey, they first pinpoint their prey's location by sound, then leap, sailing high above their quarry, steering in mid-air with their tails, before landing on target up to 5 metres (16 ft) away.[1] They typically only feed on carrion in the late evening hours and at night.[6] They are extremely possessive of their food and will defend their catches from even dominant animals.[39]:58 Red foxes may occasionally commit acts of surplus killing; during one breeding season, four foxes were recorded to have killed around 200 black-headed gulls each, with peaks during dark, windy hours when flying conditions were unfavorable. Losses to poultry and penned game birds can be substantial because of this.[8][39]:164 Red foxes seem to dislike the taste of moles but will nonetheless catch them alive and present them to their kits as playthings.[39]:41

A 2008–2010 study of 84 red foxes in the Czech Republic and Germany found that successful hunting in long vegetation or under snow appeared to involve an alignment of the fox with the Earth's magnetic field.[57][58]

Enemies and competitors

Red Fox vs Grey Fox - San Joaquin National Wildlife Refuge
Red fox confronting a grey fox
Aquila chrysaetos 1 (Bohuš Číčel)
Golden eagle feeding on red fox
Red fox & two badgers
Fox challenging two badgers

Red foxes typically dominate other fox species. Arctic foxes generally escape competition from red foxes by living farther north, where food is too scarce to support the larger-bodied red species. Although the red species' northern limit is linked to the availability of food, the Arctic species' southern range is limited by the presence of the former. Red and Arctic foxes were both introduced to almost every island from the Aleutian Islands to the Alexander Archipelago during the 1830s–1930s by fur companies. The red foxes invariably displaced the Arctic foxes, with one male red fox having been reported to have killed off all resident Arctic foxes on a small island in 1866.[39] Where they are sympatric, Arctic foxes may also escape competition by feeding on lemmings and flotsam, rather than voles, as favoured by red foxes. Both species will kill each other's kits, given the opportunity.[6] Red foxes are serious competitors of corsac foxes, as they hunt the same prey all year. The red species is also stronger, is better adapted to hunting in snow deeper than 10 cm (4 in) and is more effective in hunting and catching medium to large-sized rodents. Corsac foxes seem to only outcompete red foxes in semi-desert and steppe areas.[6][59] In Israel, Blanford's foxes escape competition with red foxes by restricting themselves to rocky cliffs and actively avoiding the open plains inhabited by red foxes.[39]:84–85 Red foxes dominate kit and swift foxes. Kit foxes usually avoid competition with their larger cousins by living in more arid environments, though red foxes have been increasing in ranges formerly occupied by kit foxes due to human-induced environmental changes. Red foxes will kill both species, and compete for food and den sites.[9] Grey foxes are exceptional, as they dominate red foxes wherever their ranges meet. Historically, interactions between the two species were rare, as grey foxes favoured heavily wooded or semiarid habitats as opposed to the open and mesic ones preferred by red foxes. However, interactions have become more frequent due to deforestation allowing red foxes to colonise grey fox-inhabited areas.[9]

Wolves may kill and eat red foxes in disputes over carcasses.[6][60] In areas in North America where red fox and coyote populations are sympatric, fox ranges tend to be located outside coyote territories. The principal cause of this separation is believed to be active avoidance of coyotes by the foxes. Interactions between the two species vary in nature, ranging from active antagonism to indifference. The majority of aggressive encounters are initiated by coyotes, and there are few reports of red foxes acting aggressively toward coyotes except when attacked or when their kits were approached. Foxes and coyotes have sometimes been seen feeding together.[61] In Israel, red foxes share their habitat with golden jackals. Where their ranges meet, the two canids compete due to near identical diets. Foxes ignore jackal scents or tracks in their territories, and avoid close physical proximity with jackals themselves. In areas where jackals become very abundant, the population of foxes decreases significantly, apparently because of competitive exclusion.[62]

Red foxes dominate raccoon dogs, sometimes killing their kits or biting adults to death. Cases are known of foxes killing raccoon dogs entering their dens. Both species compete for mouse-like prey. This competition reaches a peak during early spring, when food is scarce. In Tartaria, red fox predation accounted for 11.1% of deaths among 54 raccoon dogs, and amounted to 14.3% of 186 raccoon dog deaths in north-western Russia.[6]

Red foxes may kill small mustelids like weasels,[9] stone martens,[63] pine martens, stoats, kolonoks, polecats and young sables. Eurasian badgers may live alongside red foxes in isolated sections of large burrows.[6] It is possible that the two species tolerate each other out of mutualism; foxes provide badgers with food scraps, while badgers maintain the shared burrow's cleanliness.[24]:15 However, cases are known of badgers driving vixens from their dens and destroying their litters without eating them. Wolverines may kill red foxes, often while the latter are sleeping or near carrion. Foxes in turn may kill unattended young wolverines.[6]

Red foxes may compete with striped hyenas on large carcasses. Red foxes may give way to hyenas on unopened carcasses, as the latter's stronger jaws can easily tear open flesh that is too tough for foxes. Foxes may harass hyenas, using their smaller size and greater speed to avoid the hyena's attacks. Sometimes, foxes seem to deliberately torment hyenas even when there is no food at stake. Some foxes may mistime their attacks, and are killed.[39]:77–79 Fox remains are often found in hyena dens, and hyenas may steal foxes from traps.[6]

In Eurasia, red foxes may be preyed upon by leopards, caracals and Eurasian lynxes. The lynxes chase red foxes into deep snow, where their longer legs and larger paws give them an advantage over foxes, especially when the depth of the snow exceeds one metre.[6] In the Velikoluki district in Russia, red foxes are absent or are seen only occasionally where lynxes establish permanent territories.[6] Researchers consider lynxes to represent considerably less danger to red foxes than wolves do.[6] North American felid predators of red foxes include cougars, Canadian lynxes and bobcats.[36] Occasionally, large raptors such as Eurasian eagle owls will prey on young foxes,[64] while golden eagles have been known to kill adults.[65]


Multicolored North American red fox

Red foxes are wide-ranging animals, whose range covers nearly 70 million km2 (27 million sq mi). They are distributed across the entire Northern Hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to North Africa, Central America, and Asia. They are absent in Iceland, the Arctic islands, some parts of Siberia, and in extreme deserts.[1]

Red foxes are not present in New Zealand and are classed as a "prohibited new organism" under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996, preventing them from being imported.[66]


In Australia, 2012 estimates indicate that there are more than 7.2 million[67] red foxes with a range extending throughout most of the continental mainland.[39]:14 The species became established in Australia through successive introductions by settlers in 1830s in the British colonies of Van Diemen's Land (as early as 1833) and the Port Phillip District of New South Wales (as early as 1845) for the purpose of the traditional English sport of fox hunting. A permanent fox population was not established on the island of Tasmania and it is widely held that they were outcompeted by the Tasmanian devil.[68] On the mainland, however, the species was successful as an apex predator. It is generally less common in areas where the dingo is more prevalent, however it has, primarily through its burrowing behaviour, achieved niche differentiation with both the feral dog and the feral cat. As such it has become one of the continent's most invasive species. The red fox has been implicated in the extinction and decline of several native Australian species, particularly those of the family Potoroidae including the desert rat-kangaroo.[69] The spread of red foxes across the southern part of the continent has coincided with the spread of rabbits in Australia and corresponds with declines in the distribution of several medium-sized ground-dwelling mammals, including brush-tailed bettongs, burrowing bettongs, rufous bettongs, bilbys, numbats, bridled nailtail wallabys and quokkas.[70] Most of these species are now limited to areas (such as islands) where red foxes are absent or rare. Local eradication programs exist, although eradication has proven difficult due to the denning behaviour and nocturnal hunting, so the focus is on management with the introduction of state bounties.[71] According to the Tasmanian government, red foxes were introduced to the previously fox-free island of Tasmania in 1999 or 2000, posing a significant threat to native wildlife including the eastern bettong, and an eradication program conducted by the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries and Water has been established.[72]


The origin of the Sardinian ichnusae subspecies is uncertain, as it is absent from Pleistocene deposits in their current homeland. It is possible it originated during the Neolithic following its introduction to the island by humans. It is likely then that Sardinian fox populations stem from repeated introductions of animals from different localities in the Mediterranean. This latter theory may explain the subspecies' phenotypic diversity.[16]

Diseases and parasites

Vulpes vulpes, Red Fox, Zorro
European red fox with mange

Red foxes are the most important rabies vector in Europe. In London, arthritis is not uncommon in foxes, being particularly frequent in the spine.[8] Foxes may be infected with leptospirosis and tularemia, though they are not overly susceptible to the latter. They may also fall ill from listeriosis and spirochetosis, as well as acting as vectors in spreading erysipelas, brucellosis and tick-borne encephalitis. A mysterious fatal disease near Lake Sartlan in the Novosibirsk Oblast was noted among local red foxes, but the cause was undetermined. The possibility was considered that it was caused by an acute form of encephalomyelitis, which was first observed in captive bred silver foxes. Individual cases of foxes infected with Yersinia pestis are known.[6]

Red foxes are not readily prone to infestation with fleas. Species like Spilopsyllus cuniculi are probably only caught from the fox's prey species, while others like Archaeopsylla erinacei are caught whilst travelling. Fleas that feed on red foxes include Pulex irritans, Ctenocephalides canis and Paraceras melis. Ticks such as Ixodes ricinus and I. hexagonus are not uncommon in foxes, and are typically found on nursing vixens and kits still in their earths. The louse Trichodectes vulpis specifically targets foxes, but is found infrequently. The mite Sarcoptes scabiei is the most important cause of mange in red foxes. It causes extensive hair loss, starting from the base of the tail and hindfeet, then the rump before moving on to the rest of the body. In the final stages of the condition, foxes can lose most of their fur, 50% of their body weight and may gnaw at infected extremities. In the epizootic phase of the disease, it usually takes foxes four months to die after infection. Other endoparasites include Demodex folliculorum, Notoderes, Otodectes cynotis (which is frequently found in the ear canal), Linguatula serrata (which infects the nasal passages) and ringworms.[6]

Up to 60 helminth species are known to infect foxes in fur farms, while 20 are known in the wild. Several coccidian species of the genera Isospora and Eimeria are also known to infect them.[6] The most common nematode species found in fox guts are Toxocara canis and Uncinaria stenocephala, Capillaria aerophila[73] and Crenosoma vulpis, the latter two infect their lungs. Capillaria plica infect the fox's bladder. Trichinella spiralis rarely affects them. The most common tapeworm species in foxes are Taenia spiralis and T. pisiformis. Others include Echinococcus granulosus and E. multilocularis. Eleven trematode species infect red foxes,[8] including Metorchis conjunctus.[74]

Relationships with humans

In folklore, religion and mythology

Reynard the Fox in an 1869 children's book
Nine-tailed fox, from the Qing edition of the Shan Hai Jing

Red foxes feature prominently in the folklore and mythology of human cultures with which they are sympatric. In Greek mythology, the Teumessian fox[75] or Cadmean vixen, was a gigantic fox that was destined never to be caught. The fox was one of the children of Echidna.[76]

In Celtic mythology, the red fox is a symbolic animal. In the Cotswolds, witches were thought to take the shape of foxes to steal butter from their neighbours.[77] In later European folklore, the figure of Reynard the Fox symbolises trickery and deceit. He originally appeared (then under the name of "Reinardus") as a secondary character in the 1150 poem "Ysengrimus". He reappeared in 1175 in Pierre Saint Cloud's Le Roman de Renart, and made his debut in England in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Nun's Priest's Tale. Many of Reynard's adventures may stem from actual observations on fox behaviour; he is an enemy of the wolf and has a fondness for blackberries and grapes.[39]:32–33

Chinese folk tales tell of fox-spirits called huli jing that may have up to nine tails, or kumiho as they are known in Korea.[78] In Japanese mythology, the kitsune are fox-like spirits possessing magical abilities that increase with their age and wisdom. Foremost among these is the ability to assume human form. While some folktales speak of kitsune employing this ability to trick others, other stories portray them as faithful guardians, friends, lovers, and wives.[79] In Arab folklore, the fox is considered a cowardly, weak, deceitful, and cunning animal, said to feign death by filling its abdomen with air to appear bloated, then lies on its side, awaiting the approach of unwitting prey.[33] The animal's cunning was noted by the authors of the Bible who applied the word "fox" to false prophets (Ezekiel 13:4) and the hypocrisy of Herod Antipas (Luke 13:32).[80]

The cunning Fox is commonly found in Native American mythology, where it is portrayed as an almost constant companion to Coyote. Fox, however, is a deceitful companion that often steals Coyote's food. In the Achomawi creation myth, Fox and Coyote are the co-creators of the world, that leave just before the arrival of humans. The Yurok tribe believed that Fox, in anger, captured the sun, and tied him to a hill, causing him to burn a great hole in the ground. An Inuit story tells of how Fox, portrayed as a beautiful woman, tricks a hunter into marrying her, only to resume her true form and leave after he offends her. A Menominee story tells of how Fox is an untrustworthy friend to the Wolf.[81]


Bruno Liljefors - Beagle and Fox
Beagle and Fox (1885) by Bruno Liljefors

The earliest historical records of fox hunting come from the fourth century BC; Alexander the Great is known to have hunted foxes and a seal dated from 350 BC depicts a Persian horseman in the process of spearing a fox. Xenophon, who viewed hunting as part of a cultured man's education, advocated the killing of foxes as pests, as they distracted hounds from hares. The Romans were hunting foxes by 80 AD. During the Dark Ages in Europe, foxes were considered secondary quarries, but gradually grew in importance. Cnut the Great reclassed foxes as Beasts of the Chase, a lower category of quarry than Beasts of Venery. Foxes were gradually hunted less as vermin and more as Beasts of the Chase, to the point that by the late 1200s, Edward I had a royal pack of foxhounds and a specialised fox huntsman. In this period, foxes were increasingly hunted above ground with hounds, rather than underground with terriers. Edward, Second Duke of York assisted the climb of foxes as more prestigious quarries in his The Master of Game. By the Renaissance, fox hunting became a traditional sport of the nobility. After the English Civil War caused a drop in deer populations, fox hunting grew in popularity. By the mid-1600s, Britain was divided into fox hunting territories, with the first fox hunting clubs being formed (the first was the Charlton Hunt Club in 1737). The popularity of fox hunting in Britain reached a peak during the 1700s.[39]:21 Although already native to North America, red foxes from England were imported for sporting purposes to Virginia and Maryland in 1730 by prosperous tobacco planters.[82] These American fox hunters considered the red species more sporting than grey species.[82]

The grays furnished more fun, the reds more excitement. The grays did not run so far, but usually kept near home, going in a circuit of six or eight

miles. 'An old red, generally so called irrespective of age, as a tribute to his prowess, might lead the dogs all day, and end by losing them as evening fell, after taking them a dead stretch for thirty miles. The capture of a gray was what men boasted of; a chase after 'an old red' was what they 'yarned' about.[82]

Red foxes are still widely persecuted as pests, with human-caused deaths among the highest causes of mortality in the species. Annual fox kills are: UK 21,500–25,000 (2000); Germany 600,000 (2000–2001); Austria 58,000 (2000–2001); Sweden 58,000 (1999–2000); Finland 56,000 (2000–2001); Denmark 50,000 (1976–1977); Switzerland 34,832 (2001); Norway 17,000 (2000–2001); Saskatchewan (Canada) 2,000 (2000–2001); Nova Scotia (Canada) 491 (2000–2001); Minnesota (US) 4,000–8,000 (average annual trapping harvest 2002–2009);[83] New Mexico (US) 69 (1999–2000).[63]

Fur use

Fur redfox
Red fox pelts

Red foxes are among the most important furbearing animals harvested by the fur trade. Their pelts are used for trimmings, scarfs, muffs, jackets and coats. They are principally used as trimming for both cloth coats and fur garments, including evening wraps.[11]:229–230 The pelts of silver-morph foxes are popular as capes,[11]:246 while cross foxes are mostly used for scarves and rarely for trimming.[11]:252 The number of sold fox scarves exceeds the total number of scarves made from other furbearers. However, this amount is overshadowed by the total number of fox pelts used for trimming purposes.[11]:229–230 The silver morphs are the most valued by furriers, followed by the cross and red morphs respectively.[24]:207> In the early 1900s, over 1,000 American fox skins were imported to Britain annually, while 500,000 were exported annually from Germany and Russia.[24]:6 The total worldwide trade of wild red foxes in 1985–86 was 1,543,995 pelts. Foxes amounted to 45% of US wild-caught pelts worth $50 million.[63] Pelt prices are increasing, with 2012 North American wholesale auction prices averaging $39, and 2013 prices averaging $65.78.[84]

North American red foxes, particularly those of northern Alaska, are the most valued for their fur, as they have guard hairs of a silky texture, which, after dressing, allow the wearer unrestricted mobility. Red foxes living in southern Alaska's coastal areas and the Aleutian Islands are an exception, as they have extremely coarse pelts that rarely exceed one-third of the price of their northern Alaskan cousins.[11]:231 Most European peltries have coarse-textured fur compared to North American varieties. The only exceptions are the Nordic and Far Eastern Russian peltries, but they are still inferior to North American peltries in terms of silkiness.[11]:235

Livestock and pet predation

Picked clean - - 500576
Carcass of a lamb near a fox den
Urban fox and rabbit
Fox in a Birmingham garden investigates a rabbit hutch

Red foxes may on occasion prey on lambs. Usually, lambs targeted by foxes tend to be physically weakened specimens, but not invariably. Lambs belonging to small breeds, such as Blackface, are more vulnerable than larger breeds such as Merino. Twins may be more vulnerable to foxes than singlets, as ewes cannot effectively defend both simultaneously. Crossbreeding small, upland ewes with larger, lowland rams can cause difficult and prolonged labour for ewes due to the heaviness of the resulting offspring, thus making the lambs more at risk to fox predation. Lambs born from gimmers (ewes breeding for the first time) are more often killed by foxes than those of experienced mothers, who stick closer to their young.[39]:166–167

Red foxes may prey on domestic rabbits and guinea pigs if they are kept in open runs or are allowed to range freely in gardens. This problem is usually averted by housing them in robust hutches and runs. Urban foxes frequently encounter cats and may feed alongside them. In physical confrontations, the cats usually have the upper hand. Authenticated cases of foxes killing cats usually involve kittens. Although most foxes do not prey on cats, some may do so, and may treat them more as competitors rather than food.[39]:180–181

Taming and domestication

In their unmodified wild state, red foxes are generally unsuitable as pets.[85] Many supposedly abandoned kits are adopted by well-meaning people during the spring period, though it is unlikely that vixens would abandon their young. Actual orphans are rare, and the ones that are adopted are likely kits that simply strayed from their den site.[86] Kits require almost constant supervision; when still suckling, they require milk at four-hour intervals day and night. Once weaned, they may become destructive to leather objects, furniture and electric cables.[39]:56 Though generally friendly toward people when young, captive red foxes become fearful of humans, save for their handlers, once they reach 10 weeks of age.[39]:61 They maintain their wild counterpart's strong instinct of concealment, and may pose a threat to domestic birds, even when well fed.[24]:122 Although suspicious of strangers, they can form bonds with cats and dogs, even ones bred for fox hunting. Tame foxes were once used to draw ducks close to hunting blinds.[24]:132–133

A strain of truly domesticated red foxes was introduced by Russian geneticist Dmitry Belyayev who, over a 40-year period, bred several generations of silver morph foxes on fur farms, selecting only those individuals that showed the least fear of humans. Eventually, Belyayev's team selected only those that showed the most positive response to humans, thus resulting in a population of foxes whose behaviour and appearance was significantly changed. After about ten generations of controlled breeding, these foxes no longer showed any fear of humans, and often wagged their tails and licked their human caretakers to show affection. These behavioural changes were accompanied by physical alterations, which included piebald coats, floppy ears in pups, and curled tails, similar to traits that distinguish domestic dogs from wolves.[87]

Urban foxes


Red foxes have been exceedingly successful in colonising built-up environments, especially lower-density suburbs,[37] although many have also been sighted in dense urban areas far from the countryside. Throughout the twentieth century, they established themselves in many Australian, European, Japanese, and North American cities. The species first colonised British cities during the 1930s, entering Bristol and London during the 1940s, and later established themselves in Cambridge and Norwich. In Australia, red foxes were recorded in Melbourne as early as the 1930s, while in Zurich, Switzerland, they only starting appearing in the 1980s.[88] Urban red foxes are most common in residential suburbs consisting of privately owned, low-density housing. They are rare in areas where industry, commerce or council-rented houses predominate.[37] In these latter areas, the distribution is of a lower average density because they rely less on human resources; the home range of these foxes average from 80–90 hectares (200–220 acres), whereas those in more residential areas average from 25–40 hectares (60–100 acres).[89]

In 2006 it was estimated that there were 10,000 foxes in London.[90] City-dwelling foxes may have the potential to consistently grow larger than their rural counterparts, as a result of abundant scraps and a relative dearth of predators. In cities foxes may scavenge food from litter bins and bin bags, although much of their diet will be similar to rural foxes.


Urban red foxes are most active at dusk and dawn, doing most of their hunting and scavenging at these times. It is uncommon to spot them during the day, but they can be caught sunbathing on roofs of houses or sheds. Foxes will often make their homes in hidden and undisturbed spots in urban areas as well as on the edges of a city, visiting at night for sustenance. While foxes will scavenge successfully in the city (and the foxes tend to eat anything that the humans eat) some urban residents will deliberately leave food out for the animals, finding them endearing.[91] Doing this regularly can attract foxes to one's home; they can become accustomed to human presence, warming up to their providers by allowing themselves to be approached and in some cases even played with, particularly young cubs.[89]

Urban fox control

Urban foxes can cause problems for local residents. Foxes have been known to steal chickens, disrupt rubbish bins and damage gardens. Most complaints about urban foxes made to local authorities occur during the breeding season in late January/early February or from late April to August, when the new cubs are developing.[89] In the UK, hunting foxes in urban areas is banned, and shooting them in an urban environment is not suitable. One alternative to hunting urban foxes has been to trap them, which appears to be a more viable method.[92] However, killing foxes has little effect on the population in an urban area; those that are killed are very soon replaced, either by new cubs during the breeding season or by other foxes moving into the territory of those that were killed. A more effective method of fox control is to deter them from the specific areas they inhabit. Deterrents such as creosote, diesel oil, or ammonia can be used. Cleaning up and blocking access to den locations can also discourage a fox's return.[89]

Relationship between urban and rural foxes

In January 2014 it was reported that "Fleet", a relatively tame urban fox tracked as part of a wider study by the University of Brighton in partnership with the BBC's Winterwatch, had unexpectedly travelled 195 miles in 21 days from his neighbourhood in Hove, at the western edge of East Sussex, across rural countryside as far as Rye, at the eastern edge of the county. He was still continuing his journey when the GPS collar stopped transmitting, due to suspected water damage. Along with setting a record for the longest journey undertaken by a tracked fox in the United Kingdom, his travels have highlighted the fluidity of movement between rural and urban fox populations.[93][94]

Red fox crossing road

Red fox crossing a street in Portugal

Flickr - Duncan~ - Fox Trot

Red fox in central London

Fox with food bag

Eating from a bag of biscuits in Dorset, England

Fleet Fox AKA Rolf, Winterwatch Brighton

"Fleet" the urban fox from the BBC's Winterwatch


  1. ^ a b c d Macdonald, D. W.; Reynolds, J. C. (2008). "'Vulpes vulpes'". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
  2. ^ Linnæus, Carl (1758). Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I (in Latin) (10th ed.). Holmiæ (Stockholm): Laurentius Salvius. p. 40.
  3. ^ "100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species". Invasive Species Specialist Group.
  4. ^ a b c Kurtén, Björn (1968). Pleistocene mammals of Europe. Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
  5. ^ a b Kurtén, Björn; Anderson, Elaine (15 October 1980). Pleistocene Mammals of North America. Columbia University Press. pp. 96, 174. ISBN 9780231037334.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs Heptner, V.G. (1998). Mammals of the Soviet Union. Leiden u.a.: Brill. pp. 115, 341–365, 453–502, 513–562. ISBN 978-1886106819. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  7. ^ a b Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Harris, Stephen; Yalden, Derek (2008). Mammals of the British Isles : handbook (4th ed.). Southampton: Mammal Society. pp. 408–422. ISBN 978-0906282656.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Feldhamer, George; Thompson, Bruce; Chapman, Joseph (2003). Wild Mammals of North America: Biology, Management, and Conservation: Biology, Management and Economics (second ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 516–530. ISBN 9780801874161.
  10. ^ Fedriani, J. M.; Palomares, F.; Delibes, M. (1999). "Niche relations among three sympatric Mediterranean carnivores". Oecologia. 121 (1): 138–148. Bibcode:1999Oecol.121..138F. CiteSeerX doi:10.1007/s004420050915. JSTOR 4222449. PMID 28307883.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Bachrach, Max (1953). Fur: a practical treatise (third ed.). New York: Prentice-Hall.
  12. ^ Fellows, Dave. "Animal Congregations, or What Do You Call a Group of.....?". Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center. USGS. Archived from the original on 20 March 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  13. ^ "Vulpine". Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  14. ^ Lindblad-Toh, K.; Wade, C. M.; Mikkelsen, T. S.; et al. (2005). "Genome sequence, comparative analysis and haplotype structure of the domestic dog". Nature. 438 (7069): 803–819. Bibcode:2005Natur.438..803L. doi:10.1038/nature04338. PMID 16341006.
  15. ^ PaleoDatabase collection No. 35369, authorized by Alan Turner, Liverpool John Moores University. Entry by H. O'Regan, 8 December 2003
  16. ^ a b Spagnesi & De Marina Marinis 2002, p. 222
  17. ^ a b Aubry, Keith B.; Statham, Mark J.; Sacks, Benjamin N.; Perrines, John D.; Wisely, Samantha M. (2009). "Phylogeography of the North American red fox: Vicariance in Pleistocene forest refugia" (PDF). Molecular Ecology. 18 (12): 2668–2686. doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04222.x. PMID 19457180. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 June 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  18. ^ Statham, Mark J.; Murdoch, James; Janecka, Jan; Aubry, Keith B.; Edwards, Ceiridwen J.; Soulsbury, Carl D.; Berry, Oliver; Wang, Zhenghuan; et al. (2014). "Range-wide multilocus phylogeography of the red fox reveals ancient continental divergence, minimal genomic exchange and distinct demographic histories". Molecular Ecology. 23 (19): 4813–4830. doi:10.1111/mec.12898. PMID 25212210.
  19. ^ Mark J. Statham; Benjamin N. Sacks; Keith B. Aubry; John D. Perrine & Samantha M. Wisely (2012). "The origin of recently established red fox populations in the United States: translocations or natural range expansions?". Journal of Mammalogy. 93 (1): 58. doi:10.1644/11-MAMM-A-033.1.
  20. ^ Sacks BN, Moore M, Statham MJ, Wittmer HU (2011). "A restricted hybrid zone between native and introduced red fox Vulpes vulpes populations suggests reproductive barriers and competitive exclusion". Molecular Ecology. 20 (2): 326–341. doi:10.1111/j.1365-294x.2010.04943.x. PMID 21143330.
  21. ^ Logan A. Volkmann; Mark J. Statham; Arne Ø. Mooers & Benjamin N. Sacks (2015). "Genetic distinctiveness of red foxes in the Intermountain West as revealed through expanded mitochondrial sequencing". Journal of Mammalogy. 96 (2): 297–307. doi:10.1093/jmammal/gyv007.
  22. ^ Sacks, Benjamin N.; Statham, Mark J.; Perrine, John D.; Wisely, Samantha M.; Aubry, Keith B. (2010). "North American montane red foxes: Expansion, fragmentation, and the origin of the Sacramento Valley red fox". Conservation Genetics. 11 (4): 1523–1539. doi:10.1007/s10592-010-0053-4.
  23. ^ Castello, Jose, 2018. Canids of the World. Princeton University Press: Princeton, NJ.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Dale, Thomas Francis (1906). The fox. London, New York, Bombay: Longmans, Green, and Co. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  25. ^ Amber GF Teacher; Jessica A Thomas & Ian Barnes (2011). "Modern and ancient red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in Europe show an unusual lack of geographical and temporal structuring, and differing responses within the carnivores to historical climatic change". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 11 (214): 214. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-11-214. PMC 3154186. PMID 21774815. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  26. ^ Verena E Kutschera; Nicolas Lecomte; Axel Janke; Nuria Selva; Alexander A Sokolov; Timm Haun; Katharina Steyer; Carsten Nowak & Frank Hailer (2013). "A range-wide synthesis and timeline for phylogeographic events in the red fox (Vulpes vulpes)". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 13 (114): 114. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-13-114. PMC 3689046. PMID 23738594. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  27. ^ Allen SH, Sargeant AB (1993). "Dispersal Patterns of Red Foxes Relative to Population Density". Journal of Wildlife Management. 57 (3): 526–533. doi:10.2307/3809277. JSTOR 3809277.
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Merriam, Clinton Hart (1900). Preliminary revision of the North American red foxes. Washington Academy of Sciences. pp. 663–669.
  29. ^ a b Spagnesi & De Marina Marinis 2002, p. 221
  30. ^ a b c d Pocock, Reginald Innes (1941). The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma – Mammalia Vol 2, Carnivora :Aeluroidea, Arctoidea. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  31. ^ Allen 1938
  32. ^ Hoath, Richard (2009). A Field Guide to the Mammals of Egypt. American Univ in Cairo Press. ISBN 978-977-416-254-1.
  33. ^ a b Osborn, Dale J; Helmy, Ibrahim (1980). The Contemporary Land Mammals of Egypt (including Sinai). Field Museum of Natural History. pp. 376, 679. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  34. ^ Miller, Gerrit Smith (1912) Catalogue of the mammals of Western Europe (Europe exclusive of Russia) in the collection of the British museum, British Museum (Natural History). Department of Zoology.
  35. ^ Allen 1938, p. 353
  36. ^ a b c Larivière, Serge; Pasitschniak-Arts, Maria (1996). Vulpes vulpes (PDF). American Society of Mammalogists. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 October 2005. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  37. ^ a b c d e Sillero-Zubiri, Hoffman & MacDonald 2004, pp. 132–133
  38. ^ Sillero-Zubiri, Hoffman & MacDonald 2004, p. 129
  39. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z Macdonald, David (1987). Running with the Fox. Unwin Hyman, London. ASIN B00H1HVF8G.
  40. ^ Nowak, Ronald M (1999). Walker's Mammals of the World. 2. JHU Press. p. 636. ISBN 978-0-8018-5789-8.
  41. ^ Burnie D and Wilson DE (eds.), Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife. DK Adult (2005), ISBN 0789477645
  42. ^ Sillero-Zubiri, Hoffman & MacDonald 2004, p. 130
  43. ^ Wilkes, David (5 March 2012). "'Largest fox killed in UK' shot on Aberdeenshire farm". BBC News Online.
  44. ^ Sillero-Zubiri, Hoffman & MacDonald 2004, p. 131
  45. ^ Fawcett, John K.; Fawcett, Jeanne M.; Soulsbury, Carl D. (2012). "Seasonal and sex differences in urine marking rates of wild red foxes Vulpes vulpes". Journal of Ethology. 31 (1): 41–47. doi:10.1007/s10164-012-0348-7.
  46. ^ Walters, Martin; Bang, Preben; Dahlstrøm, Preben (2001). Animal tracks and signs. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 202–203. ISBN 978-0-19-850796-3.
  47. ^ Henry, J. David (1977). "The use of urine marking in the scavenging behavior of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes)". Behaviour. 61 (1/2): 82–106. doi:10.1163/156853977X00496. JSTOR 4533812.
  48. ^ Andersen, K. F.; Vulpius, T. (1999). "Urinary volatile constituents of the lion, Panthera leo". Chemical Senses. 24 (2): 179–189. doi:10.1093/chemse/24.2.179. PMID 10321819.
  49. ^ Elbroch, Lawrence Mark; Kresky, Michael Raymond; Evans, Jonah Wy (2012). Field Guide to Animal Tracks and Scat of California. University of California Press. p. 189. ISBN 978-0-520-25378-0.
  50. ^ Iossa, Graziella; et al. (2008). "Body mass, territory size, and life-history tactics in a socially monogamous canid, the red fox Vulpes vulpes". Journal of Mammalogy. 89 (6): 1481–1490. doi:10.1644/07-mamm-a-405.1.
  51. ^ a b Hunter, L. (2011). Carnivores of the World. Princeton University Press. p. 106. ISBN 978-0-691-15227-1.
  52. ^ Holland, Jennifer S. (July 2011). "40 winks?". National Geographic. 220 (1).
  53. ^ Asa C. S., Mech D. (1995). "A review of the sensory organs in wolves and their importance to life history," in Ecology and Conservation of Wolves in a Changing World eds. Carbyn L. D., Fritts S. H., Seip D. R., editors. (Edmonton: Canadian Circumpolar Institute; ) 287–291
  54. ^ osterholm H. (1964). The significance of distance reception in the feeding behaviour of fox (Vulpes vulpes L.). Acta Zool. Fenn. 106 1–31
  55. ^ Wells M. C. (1978). Coyote senses in predation – environmental influences on their relative use. Behav. Processes 3 149–158 10.1016/0376-6357(78)90041-4
  56. ^ Wells M. C., Lehner P. N. (1978). Relative importance of distance senses in Coyote predatory behavior. Anim. Behav. 26 251–258 10.1016/0003-3472(78)90025-8
  57. ^ Yong, Ed (11 January 2011). "Foxes use the Earth's magnetic field as a targeting system - Not Exactly Rocket Science". Discover Magazine.
  58. ^ Jaroslav Červený; Sabine Begall; Petr Koubek; Petra Nováková; Hynek Burda (12 January 2011). "Directional preference may enhance hunting accuracy in foraging foxes". Biol. Lett. 7 (3): 355–357. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2010.1145. PMC 3097881. PMID 21227977.
  59. ^ Heptner & Naumov 1998, pp. 453–454
  60. ^ Mech, L. David; Boitani, Luigi (2003). Wolves: Behaviour, Ecology and Conservation. University of Chicago Press. p. 269. ISBN 978-0-226-51696-7.
  61. ^ Sargeant, Alan B; Allen, Stephen H. (1989). "Observed interactions between coyotes and red foxes". Journal of Mammalogy. 70 (3): 631–633. doi:10.2307/1381437. JSTOR 1381437. Archived from the original on 14 November 2007.
  62. ^ Scheinin, Shani; Yom-Tov, Yoram; Motro, Uzi; Geffen, Eli (2006). "Behavioural responses of red foxes to an increase in the presence of golden jackals: A field experiment" (PDF). Animal Behaviour. 71 (3): 577–584. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2005.05.022.
  63. ^ a b c Sillero-Zubiri, Hoffman & MacDonald 2004, p. 134
  64. ^ "Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo) - Information, Pictures, Sounds". The Owl Pages. 23 October 2015. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  65. ^ Watson, Jeff (2010). The Golden Eagle (2nd ed.). A&C Black. p. 92. ISBN 978-1-4081-1420-9.
  66. ^ "Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 2003 – Schedule 2 Prohibited new organisms". New Zealand Government. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  67. ^ "Impacts of Feral Animals". Game Council of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 18 April 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  68. ^ Bostanci, A. (2005). "Wildlife Biology: A Devil of a Disease". Science. 307 (5712): 1035. doi:10.1126/science.307.5712.1035. PMID 15718445.
  69. ^ Short, J. (1998). "The extinction of rat-kangaroos (Marsupialia:Potoroidae) in New South Wales, Australia". Biological Conservation. 86 (3): 365–377. doi:10.1016/S0006-3207(98)00026-3.
  70. ^ Threat Abatement Plan for Predation by the Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) (PDF) (Report). NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. 2001. ISBN 0731364244.
  71. ^ Millen, Tracey (October – November 2006). "Call for more dingoes to restore native species" (PDF). ECOS. 133. (Refers to the book Australia's Mammal Extinctions: a 50,000 year history. Christopher N. Johnson. ISBN 978-0-521-68660-0.)
  72. ^ "Latest Physical Evidence of Foxes in Tasmania". Department of Primary Industries and Water, Tasmania website. 18 July 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
  73. ^ Lalošević, V.; Lalošević, D.; Čapo, I.; Simin, V.; Galfi, A.; Traversa, D. (2013). "High infection rate of zoonotic Eucoleus aerophilus infection in foxes from Serbia". Parasite. 20 (3): 3. doi:10.1051/parasite/2012003. PMC 3718516. PMID 23340229. open access
  74. ^ Smith, H. J. (1978). "Parasites of red foxes in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia". Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 14 (3): 366–370. doi:10.7589/0090-3558-14.3.366. PMID 691132.
  75. ^ Ancient Greek: Τευμησ(σ)ία ἀλώπηξ (Teumēs(s)íā alôpēx),gen.: Τευμησίας ἀλώπεκος, also known as ἀλώπηξ τῆς Τευμησσοῦ "fox of Teumessos"; Teumessos was an ancient city in Boeotia.
  76. ^ Wallen, Martin (2006). Fox. Reaktion Books. p. 40. ISBN 978-1-86189-297-3.
  77. ^ Monaghan, Patricia (2004). The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore. Infobase Publishing. pp. 199–200. ISBN 978-0-8160-4524-2.
  78. ^ Goff, Janet (1997). "Foxes in Japanese culture: Beautiful or beastly?" (PDF). Japan Quarterly. 44 (2). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  79. ^ Smyers, Karen Ann (1999). The Fox and the Jewel: Shared and Private Meanings in Contemporary Japanese Inari Worship. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-2102-9.
  80. ^ Bright, Michael (2006). Beasts of the Field: The Revealing Natural History of Animals in the Bible. London: Robson Books. pp. 120–127. ISBN 978-1-86105-831-7.
  81. ^ Bastian, Dawn Elaine; Mitchell, Judy K. (2004). Handbook of Native American Mythology. ABC-CLIO. pp. 99–100. ISBN 978-1-85109-533-9.
  82. ^ a b c Potts, Allen (1912). Fox Hunting in America. Washington: The Carnahan Press. pp. 7, 38. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  83. ^ Dexter, Margaret (8 December 2009). Trapping Harvest Statistics (PDF). Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. p. 282 (Table 5).
  84. ^ "NAFA February 2013 Fur Auction Results". 22 February 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
  85. ^ Lucy Jones (7 May 2016). "Why we love keeping foxes at home - despite the smell". Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  86. ^ Fariha Karim. "Why having Mr Fox to stay is not such a fantastic idea after all | News | The Times & The Sunday Times". Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  87. ^ Trut, Lyudmila N. (1999). "Early canid domestication: The farm-fox experiment" (PDF). American Scientist. 87 (2): 160–169. doi:10.1511/1999.20.813. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 February 2010.
  88. ^ "Urban foxes: Overview". The fox website. Archived from the original on 16 September 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
  89. ^ a b c d Harris, Stephen (1986). Urban Foxes. 18 Anley Road, London W14 OBY: Whittet Books Ltd. ISBN 978-0905483474.
  90. ^ "10,000 Foxes Roam London". 28 October 2010. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
  91. ^ Lindsay-Smith, Bruce (20 September 2013). "Yes, urban foxes are getting bigger ... and more deadly. As a 4 ft fox is shot in Kent, a marksman who culls them for a living issues a chilling warning". Daily Mail. London.
  92. ^ "Fieldsports Britain : How to call in great big bucks". 24 October 2012.
  93. ^ "BBC Two - Winterwatch, Urban Fox Diary: Part 2". Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  94. ^ "Fleet the Sussex fox breaks British walking record - BBC News". Retrieved 10 September 2016.

Further reading

External links

American red fox

The American red fox (Vulpes vulpes fulvus), commonly known as the eastern American red fox, is a North American subspecies of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Historically, red foxes were classified as two species: Vulpes vulpes in Eurasia and Vulpes fulva in the Americas (Tesky, 1995). Since 1959 they have been considered to be a singular species of Vulpes vulpes, with Vulpes fulva one of the ten subspecies (Hall, 1981; Kamler & Ballard, 2002). The American red fox differs from European forms by the greater breadth of its feet, its longer fur, noticeably shorter nose and ears, and its finer brush. According to hunters' accounts, they have less vigor and endurance in the chase compared to the European variant.

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 culpeo (Lycalopex culpaeus), sometimes known as the zorro culpeo or Andean fox, is a South American fox species. It is the second-largest native canid on the continent, after the maned wolf. In appearance, it bears many similarities to the widely recognized red fox. It has grey and reddish fur, a white chin, reddish legs and a stripe on its back that may be barely visible.

The culpeo's diet consists largely of rodents, rabbits, birds and lizards, and to a lesser extent, plant material and carrion. The culpeo does attack sheep on occasion and is therefore often hunted or poisoned. In some regions it has become rare, but overall the species is not threatened with extinction.

The culpeo was domesticated to form the Fuegian dog, but this animal became extinct some time between 1880 and 1919.

Domesticated red fox

The Russian domesticated red fox is a form of the wild red fox (Vulpes vulpes) which has been domesticated to an extent, under laboratory conditions. They are the result of an experiment which was designed to demonstrate the power of selective breeding to transform species, as described by Charles Darwin in On the Origin of Species. The experiment was purposely designed to replicate the process that had produced dogs from wolves, by recording the changes in foxes, when in each generation only the most tame foxes were allowed to breed. In short order, the descendant foxes became tamer and more dog-like in their behavior.The program was started in 1959 in the Soviet Union by zoologist Dmitry Belyayev and it has been in continuous operation since. Today, the experiment is under the supervision of Lyudmila Trut, in Russia, at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics in Novosibirsk.


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.

Fox hunting

Fox hunting is an activity involving the tracking, chase and, if caught, the killing of a fox, traditionally a red fox, by trained foxhounds or other scent hounds, and a group of unarmed followers led by a "master of foxhounds" ("master of hounds"), who follow the hounds on foot or on horseback.Fox hunting with hounds, as a formalised activity, originated in England in the sixteenth century, in a form very similar to that practised until February 2005, when a law banning the activity in England and Wales came into force. A ban on hunting in Scotland had been passed in 2002, but it continues to be within the law in Northern Ireland and several other countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Ireland and the United States. In Australia, the term also refers to the hunting of foxes with firearms, similar to deer hunting. In much of the world, hunting in general is understood to relate to any game animals or weapons (e.g., deer hunting with bow and arrow); in Britain and Ireland, "hunting" without qualification implies fox hunting (or other forms of hunting with hounds—beagling, drag hunting, hunting the clean boot, mink hunting, or stag hunting), as described here.The sport is controversial, particularly in the UK. Proponents of fox hunting view it as an important part of rural culture, and useful for reasons of conservation and pest control, while opponents argue that it is cruel and unnecessary.

Fox sparrow

The fox sparrow (Passerella iliaca) is a large American sparrow. It is the only member of the genus Passerella, although some authors split the species into four (see below).

Gray fox

The gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), or grey fox, is an omnivorous mammal of the family Canidae, widespread throughout North America and Central America. This species and its only congener, the diminutive Channel Island fox (Urocyon littoralis), are the only living members of the genus Urocyon, which is considered to be the most basal of the living canids. Though it was once the most common fox in the eastern United States, and still is found there, human advancement and deforestation allowed the red fox to become more dominant. The Pacific States still have the gray fox as a dominant. It is the only American canid that can climb trees. Its specific epithet cinereoargenteus means "ashen silver".

Heads You Die

Heads You Die is a novel written by Steve Cole, which is the second book by the author in the Young Bond series, and the seventh chronological novel overall. The book will be published by Red Fox, which is an imprint of Random House that publishes a wide range of paperback books for various age groups. The book was released on May 5, 2016.

Inuit astronomy

The Inuit have traditional names for many constellations, asterisms and stars. A number of these constellations overlap with, or can be found within, more commonly known western constellations:

Two Placed Far Apart (Orion)

The Runners (Orion's Belt), used for navigation

The Polar Bear (Alnitak)

The Dogs (Alnilam and Mintaka)

Nephews and Nieces (Orion Nebula)

The Lamp-Stand (Cassiopeia)

Sikuliaqsiujuittuq, the Murdered Man (Canis Minor)

The Flickering (Canis Major)

The First Ones (Boötes)

The Old Man (Arcturus)

The One Behind (Lyra)

The Old Woman (Vega)

The Caribou (Ursa Major)

Nanurjuk, the Spirit of a Polar Bear (Taurus)

Having the Spirit of a Polar Bear (Aldebaran)

Kaguyagat, Red Fox (Pleiades)

Jimmy Hoffa

James Riddle Hoffa (born February 14, 1913; disappeared July 30, 1975) was an American labor union leader who served as the President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) union from 1957 until 1971. He vanished in late July 1975, at age 62.

From an early age, Hoffa was a union activist and became an important regional figure with the IBT by his mid-20s. By 1952 he was national vice-president of the IBT, and was its general president between 1957 and 1971. He secured the first national agreement for teamsters' rates in 1964 with the National Master Freight Agreement. He played a major role in the growth and development of the union, which eventually became the largest (by membership) in the United States with over 2.3 million members at its peak, during his terms as its leader.

Hoffa became involved with organized crime from the early years of his Teamsters work, and this connection continued until his disappearance in 1975. He was convicted of jury tampering, attempted bribery and fraud in 1964, in two separate trials. He was imprisoned in 1967 and sentenced to 13 years. In mid-1971, he resigned as president of the union as part of a pardon agreement with President Richard Nixon; and he was released later that year, though barred from union activities until 1980. Hoffa, hoping to regain support and to return to IBT leadership, unsuccessfully attempted to overturn this order.

Hoffa vanished in late July 1975 and was declared legally dead in 1982.

John Flanagan (author)

John Anthony Flanagan is an Australian fantasy author best known for his medieval fantasy series, the Ranger's Apprentice, and its sister series, the Brotherband Chronicles. Some of his other works include his Storm Peak duology, as well as the adult novel The Grey Raider.

Pablo the Little Red Fox

Pablo the Little Red Fox is a British-French animated series which originally ran from March 1999 until 2000. The hero is a little red fox called Pablo and his siblings called Pumpkin and Poppy, their parents, Red Fox and Rose, a dog named Baxter, a hedgehog named Helena, a cat named Finbar, a frog called Fromage, a seagull called Gil and an owl named Madam Owl.

The action often takes place at night, when the three little fox cubs go out and explore the city, from circus tents, artist's studios and the local museum. Pablo often leads them astray but somehow they always get out of trouble and find a way back home, to their cosy den at the bottom of Hannah's garden.

The graphic style of the cartoons has intense colours and white outlines, reminiscent of silk paintings and Hannah Giffard's original water colour illustrations. The series concept was created by Hannah Giffard, the writer and illustrator of the original books called 'Red Fox' and 'Red Fox on the move' published by Frances Lincoln. Hannah Giffard worked closely on the series as an editor and creator of many of the story lines. She also worked with art director and director to create the characters and backgrounds for the series.

The theme music was composed by Rowland Lee, the lyrics were written by John Grace (who was a writer for the show), and was sung by Clewborough House School Camberley.

The show won a BAFTA in 2000 for best international children's program.

At one point, the shorts aired on Playhouse Disney as part of their Mini Movies interstitials and PBS Kids Sprout. The shorts have also aired on Nick Jr. UK, Disney Channel, MBC 3, CBeebies, ZDF, MiniMini+, NRK, RTÉ, and La Cinquième. It also aired on ABC Television in Australia from 30 August 2000 to 14 May 2009. It aired briefly between early morning programs on the Armed Forces Network. It also airs on GMA Network in the Philippines.

Random House

Random House is an American book publisher and the largest general-interest paperback publisher in the world.

As of 2013, it is part of Penguin Random House, which is jointly owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann and British global education and publishing company Pearson PLC.

Red foxes in Australia

Red foxes pose a serious conservation problem in Australia. 2012 estimates indicate that there are more than 7.2 million red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and growing with a range extending throughout most of the continental mainland. The species became established in Australia through successive introductions by settlers in 1830s. Due to its rapid spread and ecological impact it has classified as one of the most damaging invasive species in Australia.

Stagecoach State Park

Stagecoach State Park is a Colorado State Park located in Routt County 17 miles (27 km) south of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The 1,641-acre (6.64 km2) park established in 1965 includes a 771-acre (3.12 km2) reservoir on the Yampa River formed by Stagecoach Dam. Facilities include a marina, boat ramps, campsites, picnic sites and 8 miles (13 km) of trails. Park uplands are montane shrub communities, with riparian areas and wetlands around the reservoir and along the river. Commonly sighted wildlife includes elk, mule deer, coyote, red fox and badger.

Stanmore Country Park, London

Stanmore Country Park is a 30.7 hectare public park, Local Nature Reserve and Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation in Stanmore in the London Borough of Harrow. It is owned and managed by Harrow London Borough Council.The park was part of the grounds of an eighteenth-century mansion called Warren House. In 1937 it was acquired by Middlesex County Council and Harrow Urban District Council as public open space. It was later owned by the Greater London Council and transferred to the London Borough of Harrow in 1976. The presence of wild service trees and mature hornbeam shows that part of it is ancient woodland. The main plants in grassland areas are common bent and Yorkshire fog, with tufted hair grass in damp areas.

The park has a diverse array of wildlife including Reeve's muntjac and red fox. There have also been reported sighting of European badger, weasel and even wild boar in the park although these "sightings" are unconfirmed. Bird life is also abundant within the park which contains several members of the tit family, blackbirds, magpies and crows. The park is also home to tawny owls, buzzards, sparrowhawks and kestrels.

There is access from Kerry Avenue and Dennis Lane.

Steamboat Lake State Park

Steamboat Lake State Park is a Colorado state park located in Routt County 27 miles (43 km) north of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and near the community of Hahns Peak Village. The 2,820-acre (1,140 ha) park, established west of Hahns Peak in 1967, includes a 1,101 acres (446 ha) reservoir. Park facilities include a visitors center, marina, boat ramps, campsites, cabins, picnic sites and 5.5 miles (8.9 km) of hiking trails. Plant communities include sagebrush shrubland, quaking aspen and lodgepole pine forests, willow carr and marsh. Commonly seen mammalian wildlife species include mule deer and red fox. The reservoir attracts many species of shorebirds and waterfowl, including sandhill cranes that nest in the wetland areas.

Tom Fletcher

Thomas Michael Fletcher (born 17 July 1985) is an English musician, singer, composer, author and YouTube vlogger. Among his accomplishments, he is one of the lead vocalists and the Rhythm guitarist of English pop rock band McFly, in addition to being the group's founder. He originally auditioned and was accepted into the band Busted before losing out on the place after the record label Island decided the band should be a trio rather than a four-piece. However, he still carried on writing with the band. In his thirteen-year career as a professional songwriter, Fletcher has penned ten UK number one singles and twenty-one top ten singles. He is credited as having written songs for bands including One Direction, Busted, the Vamps and 5 Seconds of Summer.

Subspecies Trinomial authority Description Range Synonyms
Scandinavian red fox
V. v. vulpes

(Nominate subspecies) Norwegian Red Fox - Killed on the road P4

Linnaeus, 1758 A large subspecies measuring 70–90 cm in length and weighing 5–10 kg, the maximum length of the skull for males is 163.2 mm. The fur is bright red with a strongly developed whitish and yellow ripple on the lower back.[6] Scandinavia and the northern and middle (forest) districts of the European part of the former Soviet Union, southwards to forest-steppe and eastwards approximately to the Urals, and probably Central and Western Europe alopex (Linnaeus, 1758)

communis (Burnett, 1829)
lineatus (Billberg, 1827)
nigro-argenteus (Nilsson, 1820)
nigrocaudatus (Billberg, 1827)
septentrionalis (Brass, 1911)
variegates (Billberg, 1827)
vulgaris (Oken, 1816)

British Columbian fox
V. v. abietorum

Red fox

Merriam, 1900 Generally similar to V. v. alascensis, but with a lighter, longer and more slender skull[28] Interior of British Columbia and probably southeastern Alaska, US sitkaensis (Brass, 1911)
Northern Alaskan fox
V. v. alascensis

Vulpes vulpes alacensis

Merriam, 1900 A large, long tailed, small eared form with golden-fulvous fur[28] Andreafsky Wilderness, Alaska, US
Eastern Trans-Caucasian fox
V. v. alpherakyi

Vulpes alpherakyi

Satunin, 1906 A small subspecies weighing 4 kg, its maximum skull length is 132–39 mm in males and 121–26 mm in females. The fur is rusty grey or rusty brown, with a brighter rusty stripe along the spine. The coat is short, coarse and sparse.[6] Geok Tepe, Aralsk, Kazakhstan
Anatolian fox
V. v. anatolica

Vulpes vulpes anatolica

Thomas, 1920 Izmir, Aegean Region, Turkey
Arabian red fox
V. v. arabica


Thomas, 1920 Dhofar and the Hajar Mountains, Oman
Atlas fox
V. v. atlantica
Wagner, 1841 Atlas Mountains, Mila Province, Algeria algeriensis (Loche, 1858)
Labrador fox
V. v. bangsi

Adult fox

Merriam, 1900 Similar to V. v. fulva, but with smaller ears and less pronounced black markings on the ears and legs[28] L'Anse au Loup, Strait of Belle Isle, Labrador, Canada
Barbary fox
V. v. barbara
Shaw, 1800 Barbary Coast, northwestern Africa acaab (Cabrera, 1916)
Anadyr fox
V. v. beringiana
Middendorff, 1875 A large subspecies, it is the most brightly coloured of Old World red foxes, the fur being saturated bright-reddish and almost lacking the bright ripple along the back and flanks. The coat is fluffy and soft.[6] Shore of the Bering Strait, north-eastern Siberia anadyrensis (J. A. Allen, 1903)

beringensis (Merriam, 1902)
kamtschadensis (Brass, 1911)
kamtschatica (Dybowski, 1922)
schantaricus (Yudin, 1986)

Cascade Mountains red fox
V. v. cascadensis

Vulpes vulpes cascadensis

Merriam, 1900 A short tailed, small toothed fox with yellow rather than fulvous fur, it is the most common form producing "cross" varieties.[28] Cascade Mountains, Skamania County, Washington, US
North Caucasian fox
V. v. caucasica

Vulpes vulpes caucasica

Dinnik, 1914 A large subspecies, its coat is variable in colour, ranging from reddish to red-grey and nearly grey. The fur is short and coarse. This form could be a hybrid of mixing V. v. stepensis and V. v. karagan populations.[6] Near Vladikavkaz, Caucasus, Russia
European fox
V. v. crucigera

Vulpes vulpes 1 (Martin Mecnarowski)

Bechstein, 1789 A medium-sized subspecies, its yellowish-fulvous or reddish-brown pelt lacks the whitish shading on the upper back. The tail is not grey, as in most other subspecies.[29] It is primarily distinguished from V. v. vulpes by its slightly smaller size, distinctly smaller teeth, and widely spaced premolars. Red foxes present in Britain (and therefore Australia) are usually ascribed to this subspecies, though many populations there display a great degree of tooth compaction not present in continental European populations.[8] All Europe, except Scandinavia, Iberian Peninsula and some islands of the Mediterranean Sea, introduced to Australia and Virginia alba (Borkhausen, 1797)

cinera (Bechstein, 1801)
diluta (Ognev, 1924)
europaeus (Kerr, 1792)
hellenica (Douma-Petridou and Ondrias, 1980)
hypomelas (Wagner, 1841)
lutea (Bechstein, 1801)
melanogaster (Bonaparte, 1832)
meridionalis (Fitzinger, 1855)
nigra (Borkhausen, 1797)
stepensis (Brauner, 1914)

Trans-Baikal fox
V. v. daurica
Ognev, 1931 A large subspecies, the colour along its spine is light, dull yellowish-reddish with a strongly developed white ripple and greyish longitudinal stripes on the anterior side of the limbs. The coat is coarse but fluffy.[6] Kharangoi, 45 km west of Troizkosavsk, Siberia ussuriensis (Dybowski, 1922)
Newfoundland fox
V. v. deletrix
Bangs, 1898 A very pale-coloured form, its light, straw-yellow fur deepens to golden yellow or buff-fulvous in some places. The tail lacks the usual black basal spot. The hind feet and claws are very large.[28] St. George's Bay, Newfoundland, Canada
Ussuri fox
V. v. dolichocrania
Ognev, 1926 Sidemi, southern Ussuri, southeastern Siberia ognevi (Yudin, 1986)
V. v. dorsalis J. E. Gray, 1838
Turkmenian fox
V. v. flavescens

Vulpes vulpes flavescens

J. E. Gray, 1838 A small subspecies, with an infantile skull and an overall grey coloured coat, its body length is 49–57.5 cm, and it weighs 2.2–3.2 kg.[6] Northern Iran cinerascens (Birula, 1913)
splendens (Thomas, 1902)
American red fox
V. v. fulvus

American Red Fox

Desmarest, 1820 This is a smaller subspecies than V. v. vulpes, with a smaller, sharper face, a shorter tail, a lighter pelt more profusely mixed with whitish and darker limbs.[28] Eastern Canada and eastern US pennsylvanicus (Rhoads, 1894)
Afghan red fox
V. v. griffithi

Vulpes vulpes (Afghanistan) fur skin

Blyth, 1854 Slightly smaller than V. vulpes montana, it has a more extensively hoary and silvered pelt.[30]:121 Kandahar, Afghanistan flavescens (Hutton, 1845)
Kodiak fox
V. v. harrimani
Merriam, 1900 This large subspecies has an enormous tail and coarse, wolf-like fur on the tail and lower back. The hairs on the neck and shoulders are greatly elongated and form a ruff.[28] Kodiak Island, Alaska, US
Southern Chinese fox

V. v. hoole

Swinhoe, 1870 [31] Near Amoy, Fukien, southern China aurantioluteus (Matschie, 1907)
lineiventer (Swinhoe, 1871)
Sardinian fox
V. v. ichnusae
Miller, 1907 A small subspecies with proportionately small ears[29] Sarrabus, Sardinia, Italy, may have been introduced to the English Midlands[24]:6
Cyprus fox

V. v. indutus

Miller, 1907 Cape Pyla, Cyprus
Yakutsk fox
V. v. jakutensis

Vulpes vulpes (Sibiria & northwestern)

Ognev, 1923 This subspecies is large, but smaller than V. v. beringiana. The back, neck, and shoulders are brownish rusty, while the flanks are bright ocherous reddish-yellow.[6] Taiga, south of Yakutsk, eastern Siberia sibiricus (Dybowski, 1922)
Japanese fox

V. v. japonica Vulpesvulpesjaponica

Ognev, 1923 Japan
Karaganka fox

V. v. karagan Лисица

Erxleben, 1777 A smaller subspecies than V. v. vulpes, its fur is short, coarse and is of a light sandy-yellow or yellowish grey colour.[6] Kirghiz Steppes, Khirgizia, Russia ferganensis (Ognev, 1926)

melanotus (Pallas, 1811)
pamirensis (Ognev, 1926)
tarimensis (Matschie, 1907)

Kenai Peninsula fox

V. v. kenaiensis

Merriam, 1900 One of the largest North American subspecies, it has softer fur than V. v. harrimani.[28] Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, US
Trans-Caucasian montane fox
V. v. kurdistanica

Vulpes vulpes Kurdistanica (cropped)

Satunin, 1906 A form intermediate in size between V. v. alpheryaki and V. v. caucasica, its fur is pale yellow or light grey, sometimes brownish-reddish and is fluffier and denser than that of other Caucasian subspecies.[6] Northeastern Turkey alticola (Ognev, 1926)
Wasatch Mountains fox
V. v. macroura


Baird, 1852 This fox is similar to V. v. fulva, but with a much longer tail, larger hind feet, and more extensive blackening of the limbs[28] Named for the Wasatch Mountains, near Great Salt Lake, Utah, found in the Rocky Mountains from Colorado and Utah, western Wyoming and Montana through Idaho north to southern Alberta
Hill fox
V. v. montana

Keulemans hill fox

(Pearson, 1836) This subspecies is distinguished from V. v. vulpes by its smaller size, proportionately smaller skull and teeth, and coarser fur. The hairs on the sole of the feet are copiously mixed with softer, woolly hairs.[30]:111 Himalaya alopex (Blanford, 1888)

himalaicus (Ogilby, 1837)
ladacensis (Matschie, 1907)
nepalensis (J. E. Gray, 1837)
waddelli (Bonhote, 1906)

Sierra Nevada red fox or High Sierra fox
V. v. necator

Sierra Nevada Red Fox, Lassen Volcanic National Park- Keith Slausen USFS 2002

Merriam, 1900 Externally similar to V. v. fulvus, it has a short tail, but cranially more like V. v. macroura[28] High Sierra, California
Nile fox
V. v. niloticus

Nile Fox

E. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1803 A small subspecies, it measures 76.7–105.3 cm in body length, 30.2–40.1 cm in tail length, and weighs 1.8–3.8 kg. It is ruddy to grey-brown above and darker on the back of the neck. The flanks are greyer and tinged with buff.[32] It is larger than V. v. arabica and V. v. palaestina.[33] Egypt aegyptiacus (Sonnini, 1816)

anubis (Hemprich and Ehrenberg, 1833)
vulpecula (Hemprich and Ehrenberg, 1833)

Turkestan fox

V. v. ochroxantha

Ognev, 1926 Aksai, Semirechye, eastern Russian Turkestan, Kirgizia
Palestinian fox
V. v. palaestina

Vulpes vulpes at Eshel HaNasi3, israel

Thomas, 1920 Ramleh, near Jaffa, Israel
Korean fox
V. v. peculiosa
Kishida, 1924 Northeast China, Korea kiyomassai (Kishida and Mori, 1929)
White-footed fox
V. v. pusilla

Indian Desert Fox (Vulpes vulpes pusilla) Tal Chappar Rajasthan India 14.02.2013

Blyth, 1854 Slightly smaller than V. v. griffithii,[30]:123> it closely resembles V. bengalensis in size, but is distinguished by its longer tail and hind feet.[30]:129 Salt Range, Punjab, Pakistan leucopus (Blyth, 1854)

persicus (Blanford, 1875)

Northern plains fox
V. v. regalis

Vulpes vulpes regalis (2)

Merriam, 1900 The largest North American red fox subspecies, it has very large and broad ears and a very long tail. It is of a golden yellow colour with pure black feet.[28] Elk River, Sherburne County, Minnesota, US
Nova Scotia fox
V. v. rubricosa
Bangs, 1898 A large-sized subspecies with a large, broad tail and larger teeth and rostrum than V. v. fulva, it is the deepest-coloured form.[28] Digby, Nova Scotia, Canada bangsi (Merriam, 1900)

deletrix (Bangs, 1898)
rubricos (Churcher, 1960)
vafra (Bangs, 1897)

Sakhalin fox
V. v. schrencki

Vulpes vulpes schrencki 01

Kishida, 1924 Sakhalin, Russia
Iberian fox
V. v. silacea

Spanish red fox

Miller, 1907 Though equal in size to V. v. vulpes, it has smaller teeth and more widely spaced premolars. The fur is dull buff, without any yellowish or reddish tints. The hindquarters are frosted with white and the tail is clear grey in colour.[34] Iberian Peninsula
Kurile Islands fox
V. v. splendidissima
Kishida, 1924 North and central Kurile Islands, Russia
Steppe red fox
V. v. stepensis
Brauner, 1914 This subspecies is slightly smaller and more lightly coloured than V. v. crucigera, with shorter, coarser fur. Specimens from the Crimean Mountains have brighter, fluffier, and denser fur.[6] Steppes near Kherson, Ukraine krymeamontana (Brauner, 1914)

crymensis (Brauner, 1914)

Tobol'sk fox
V. v. tobolica
Ognev, 1926 This large subspecies has yellowish-rusty or dirty-reddish fur with a well-developed cross, and often a black area on the belly. The coat is long and fluffy.[6] Obdorsk, Tobolsk, Russia
Northern Chinese fox
V. v. tschiliensis

Vulpes vulpes (China, central) fur skin

Matschie, 1907 Slightly larger than V. v. hoole, but unlike other Chinese red foxes, it closely approaches V. v. vulpes in size.[35] Peiping, Chihli, northeastern China huli (Sowerby, 1923)
Extant Carnivora species
Game animals and shooting in North America
Game birds
Big game
Other quarry
See also
Game animals and shooting in the United Kingdom
Game birds
Quarry species
Other quarry
See also

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.