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Vulpes vulpes Linnaeus, 1758
FOX
Red Fox

Life   Vertebrata   Mammalia   Canidae   Vulpes

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Vulpes vulpes
© Copyright Roger Barbour. All rights reserved. · 10
Vulpes vulpes
Vulpes vulpes, Red Fox
© Copyright Sheryl Pollock 2011 · 5
Vulpes vulpes, Red Fox

Vulpes vulpes
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2117 · 3
Vulpes vulpes
Vulpes vulpes
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2117 · 3
Vulpes vulpes

Vulpes vulpes
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2117 · 3
Vulpes vulpes
Vulpes vulpes
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2117 · 3
Vulpes vulpes

Vulpes vulpes
© Copyright Cody Parmer 2010 · 2
Vulpes vulpes
Vulpes vulpes, Red Fox
© Copyright Sheryl Pollock 2011 · 1
Vulpes vulpes, Red Fox

Vulpes vulpes, Red Fox
© Copyright Sheryl Pollock 2011 · 1
Vulpes vulpes, Red Fox
Vulpes vulpes, Red fox
© Copyright Gail Starr 2011 · 1
Vulpes vulpes, Red fox

Vulpes vulpes, Red fox
© Copyright Gail Starr 2011 · 1
Vulpes vulpes, Red fox
Vulpes vulpes, Red fox
© Copyright Gail Starr 2011 · 1
Vulpes vulpes, Red fox

Vulpes vulpes, Red fox
© Copyright Gail Starr 2011 · 1
Vulpes vulpes, Red fox
Vulpes vulpes, red fox
© Copyright Gail Starr 2011 · 1
Vulpes vulpes, red fox

Vulpes vulpes.dorsal.320.jpg
© Photographer/source
Vulpes vulpes
dorsal
Vulpes vulpes.lateral.320.jpg
© Photographer/source
Vulpes vulpes
lateral

Vulpes vulpes.ventral.320.jpg
© Photographer/source
Vulpes vulpes
ventral
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© Photographer/source
Vulpes vulpes map

Vulpes vulpes_map.GSMNP.320.jpg
© Photographer/source
Vulpes vulpes map
GSMNP
Overview

Habitat

Red foxes prefer broken, sparsely settled country. Ideal habitat is provided by farmland mixed with sparsely wooded areas, brushland, and streams.

Conservation Biology

  • Special Protection Status

    • Rangewide: None.

    • In Park: All plants and animals are protected within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Collection requires a permit which is usually granted only for research or educational purposes.


Identification
  • Adult total length: 35 - 42 in. (900 - 1070 mm)

  • Tail: 14 - 16 in. (350 - 400 mm)

  • Hind foot: 4 3/4 - 7 1/4 in. (124 - 182 mm)

  • Weight: 6 - 15 lbs. (2.7 - 6.7 kg)

  • Physical Characteristics: The red fox is normally rusty-reddish to reddish- yellow on its dorsal surface with darker hairs often being intermixed down the middle of the back. The fronts of the legs and feet are black, and the underparts are whitish. The ears are large, pointed, and erect, and the muzzle is sharp and elongate. The long, bushy tail has a white tip.


Names
Scientific source:

Phylogeny
Taxonomic Category Scientific Name Common Name
Phylum Chordata Chordates
Class Mammalia Mammals
Order Carnivora Dogs, Cats, Bears, etc.
Family Canidae Wolves, Foxes

Geographic distribution
The range of the red fox extends from Alaska throughout all but the extreme north of Canada; south in the Cascade-Sierra Nevada chain to central California and in the Rocky Mountain chain to southern New Mexico; east of the plains, south to central Texas, southern Alabama, and western Florida.

  • Range Maps

    North America

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park: The red fox has been observed at all elevations in the park.

    • Blount Co.: Spence Field (5,000 feet).

    • Cocke Co.: Cosby.

    • Sevier Co.: Park headquarters; Greenbrier Cove; near Metcalf Bottoms; Dudley Creek; Boulevard Trail; Indian Gap; Mt. LeConte.

    • Haywood Co.: Walnut Bottom; between Big Creek and Davenport Gap; Little Bald Knob; Spruce Mountain.

    • Swain Co.: Along Forney Creek Road; Straight Fork; between Bryson Place and the Tenn.-N.C. line; Becks Bald (4,600 feet).


Natural history
  • Reproduction
    Litters averaging four to seven pups are usually born in March or April. The den may consist of an enlarged woodchuck burrow or a natural cavity. Since red foxes are not good diggers, the den is often in loose soil on a wooded slope or in an open field. Pups reach their adult size in about six months and disperse in September and October.

  • Longevity
    Most wild foxes probably survive two to four years, although the record is 8 1/2 years ( Linzey, 1995a).

  • Terrestrial Ecology
    Although these foxes are primarily nocturnal, they may be abroad at any hour during all seasons. The senses of sight, smell, and hearing are well developed. Red foxes are masters at eluding human and animal enemies.

    Red foxes feed on a variety of animal and plant foods including cottontails, mice, insects, birds, turtles, snakes, carrion, and fruit. Stupka found grasshoppers (Schistocerca) in the stomachs of two foxes from Indian Gap and along The Boulevard Trail in December. On September 12, 1944, seven freshly killed short-tailed shrews were noted along 1 1/2 miles of the Appalachian Trail just prior to the obsevation of a red fox in that area by a group of hikers (Stupka).

  • Predators and Defense
    Young foxes are preyed upon by a variety of raptors and carnivores. Coyotes will kill adult red foxes. Otherwise, they have few enemies other than humans and their automobiles.

  • Parasites
    None recorded from the park.


Links to other sites

References

Acknowledgements
  • Text
  • Photographs
    • Roger Barbour

  • Map development
  • Web page design & coding
    • Denise Lim, University of Georgia, Athens
    • John Pickering, University of Georgia, Athens


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Updated: 2017-12-12 20:37:13 gmt
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