Fox

Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes)

Description:
As its name would suggest, the red fox’s coat is most commonly red. However, the exact color varies from individual to individual and season to season. It can be anything from sandy, to red, to black. The red fox’s coat also becomes thicker in the winter. Females and males are similar in appearance.

Red fox

Figure 1: Red fox

Relevance to snow leopard conservation:
Red foxes play a key role in the ecosystem controlling populations of small mammals, such as rodents and rabbits, and act as dispersers of seeds.  They scavenge from prey killed by other predators, such as snow leopards and wolves.

Behavior:
Red foxes live alone, or in family groups. They make their homes in underground dens and males help to raise the young. Foxes can be active both at night and during the day.

Diet:
Red foxes have a varied diet including small mammals, insects, poultry, fruit, and carrion.

Habitat:
Red foxes live in mountainous terrain from 1,000 to 3,000 meters.

Animals that could be mistaken for this species:
Although red foxes and wolves are quite different in size and coloring, they can sometimes be easily confused in research camera photos taken in low light, at a distance, or when the animal is moving. Foxes are much smaller than wolves, with shorter legs. Wolves lack the distinctive black legs and upper ears that red foxes have. Also, the tip of a wolf’s tail is black, whereas the tip of a fox’s tail is white.

Images of foxes

These are images from our research cameras that CatCam visitors have identified as containing at least one fox. Click on a thumbnail to see a larger image

References

Gurung, K.K., & Singh, R. (1996). Field Guide to the Mammals of the Indian Subcontinent: Where to watch mammals in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. London: Academic Press.

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