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Vulpes vulpes Linnaeus, 1758
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 2011-2118 · 3
Vulpes vulpes
Vulpes vulpes
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Vulpes vulpes

Vulpes vulpes
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Vulpes vulpes
Vulpes vulpes
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 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 Ilona Loser 2012 · 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
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© Photographer/source
Vulpes vulpes

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© Photographer/source
Vulpes vulpes
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Vulpes vulpes map

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© Photographer/source
Vulpes vulpes map


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.

  • 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.

Scientific source:

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


  • 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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Following modified from Australian Faunal Directory
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http://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/2869ce8a-8212-46c2-8327-dfb7fabb8296 ---> https://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/2869ce8a-8212-46c2-8327-dfb7fabb8296
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory

You are here:  Environment home » Biodiversity » ABRS » AFD » ANIMALIA (Kingdom) » CHORDATA (Phylum) » VERTEBRATA (Subphylum) » GNATHOSTOMATA (Higher Taxon) » MAMMALIA (Class) » EUTHERIA (Subclass) » CARNIVORA (Order) » CANIDAE (Family) » Vulpes Frisch, 1775 (Genus) » Vulpes vulpes Linnaeus, 1758

Species Vulpes vulpes Linnaeus, 1758


Regional Maps

CAVS : 1532 Taxon concept Vulpes_vulpes last modified 2010-12-14 12:40:23.291

Species Vulpes vulpes Linnaeus, 1758

Fox, Red Fox

Taxonomic Decision for Synonymy




Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia

Extra Distribution Information

Introduced from UK.

IBRA and IMCRA regions (map not available)


ACT, NSW, NT, Qld, SA, Vic, WA: Australian Alps (AA), Avon Wheatbelt (AW), Brigalow Belt North (BBN), Brigalow Belt South (BBS), Broken Hill Complex (BHC), Burt Plain (BRT), Carnarvon (CAR), Channel Country (CHC), Central Mackay Coast (CMC), Coolgardie (COO), Cobar Peneplain (CP), Central Ranges (CR), Desert Uplands (DEU), Darling Riverine Plains (DRP), Einasleigh Uplands (EIU), Esperance Plains (ESP), Eyre Yorke Block (EYB), Finke (FIN), Flinders Lofty Block (FLB), Gascoyne (GAS), Gawler (GAW), Gibson Desert (GD), Geraldton Sandplains (GS), Great Sandy Desert (GSD), Great Victoria Desert (GVD), Hampton (HAM), Jarrah Forest (JF), Kanmantoo (KAN), Little Sandy Desert (LSD), MacDonnell Ranges (MAC), Mallee (MAL), Murray Darling Depression (MDD), Mitchell Grass Downs (MGD), Mount Isa Inlier (MII), Mulga Lands (ML), Murchison (MUR), Nandewar (NAN), Naracoorte Coastal Plain (NCP), New England Tablelands (NET), NSW North Coast (NNC), NSW South Western Slopes (NSS), Nullarbor (NUL), Pilbara (PIL), Riverina (RIV), Sydney Basin (SB), South East Coastal Plain (SCP), South East Corner (SEC), South Eastern Highlands (SEH), South Eastern Queensland (SEQ), Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields (SSD), Stony Plains (STP), Swan Coastal Plain (SWA), Victorian Midlands (VM), Victorian Volcanic Plain (VVP), Warren (WAR), Wet Tropics (WT), Yalgoo (YAL)

Ecological Descriptors

Necrophagous, nocturnal, omnivore, peridomestic, predator, subtropical, temperate, terrestrial, territorial.

Extra Ecological Information

Capable of limited burrowing and arboreal behaviour.


General References

Baker, G.D. & Degabrielle, R. 1987. The diet of the red fox ( Vulpes vulpes ) in the Eldorado Hills of north-east Victoria. Victorian Naturalist 104 : 39-42

Brown, G.W. & Triggs, B.E. 1990. Diets of wild canids and foxes in East Gippsland 1983-1987, using scat analysis. Australian Mammalogy 13 : 209-213

Bubela, T., Bartell, R. & Muller, W. 1998. Factors affecting thetrappability of red foxes in Kosciusko National Park. Wildlife Research 25 : 199-208

Bubela, T.M., Dickman, C.R. & Newsome, A.E. 1998. Diet and winter foraging behaviour of the red fox ( Vulpes vulpes ) in alpine and subalpine New South Wales. Australian Mammalogy 20 : 321-330

Bueler, L.E. 1974. Wild Dogs of the World . London : Constable 274 pp.

Catling, P.C. 1988. Similarities and contrasts in the diets of foxes, Vulpes vulpes , and cats, Felis catus , relative to fluctuating prey populations and drought. Australian Wildlife Research 15 : 307-317

Catling, P.C. & Burt, R.J. 1995. Why are red foxes absent from some eucalypt forests in eastern New South Wales? Wildlife Research 22 : 535-546

Coman, B.J. 1988. The age structure of a sample of red foxes ( Vulpes vulpes L.) taken by hunters in Victoria. Australian Wildlife Research 15 : 223-229

Coman, B.J., Robinson, J. & Beaumont, C. 1991. Home range, dispersal and density of red foxes ( Vulpes vulpes L.) in central Victoria. Wildlife Research 18 : 215-223

Croft, J.D. & Hone, L.J. 1978. The stomach contents of foxes, Vulpes vulpes, collected in New South Wales. Australian Wildlife Research 5 : 85-92

Dickman, C.R. 1996. Impact of exotic generalist predators on the native fauna of Australia. Wildlife Biology 2 : 185-195

Green, K. & Osborne, W.S. 1981. The diet of foxes, Vulpes vulpes (L.), in relation to abundance of prey above the winter snowline in New South Wales. Australian Wildlife Research 8 : 349-360

Holden, C. & Mutze, G. 2002. Impact of rabbit haemorrhagic disease in introduced predators in the Flinders Ranges, South Australia. Wildlife Research 29 : 615-626

Jarman, P. 1986. The red fox - an exotic large predator. pp. 45-61 in Kitching, R.L. (ed.). The Ecology of Exotic Animals and Plants. Some Australian Case Histories . Brisbane : Wiley.

Kinnear, J.E., Onus, M.L. & Sumner, N.R. 1998. Fox control and rock-wallaby population dynamics - II. An update. Australian Wildlife Research 25 : 81-88

Letts, G.A., Bassingthwaighte, A. & de Vos, W.E.L. 1979. Feral Animals in the Northern Territory. Report of the Board of Inquiry 1979 . N.T. : Govt. Printer xvi 234 pp.

Lloyd, H.G. 1980. The Red Fox . London : B.T. Batsford 320 29 pls.

Long, J.L. 1972. Introduced birds and mammals in Western Australia. Agricultural Protection Board Western Australia Technical Service 1 : 1-30

Lowe, D.W. 1982. The analysis of 701 fox scats from Morialta Conservation Park, South Australia. South Australian Naturalist 56 : 52-57

Lugton, I.W. 1993. Diet of red foxes ( Vulpes vulpes ) in south-west New South Wales, with relevance to lamb predation. Rangeland Journal 15 : 39-47

Lunney, D., Triggs, B.., Eby, P. & Ashby, E. 1990. Analysis of scats of dogs Canis familiaris and foxes Vulpes vulpes in coastal forests near Bega, New South Wales. Australian Wildlife Research 17 : 61-68

Mahon, P.S., Banks, P.B. & Dickman, C. 1998. Population indices for wild carnivores: a critical study in sand-dune habitat, south-western Queensland. Wildlife Research 25 : 11-22

May, S.A. & Norton, T.W. 1996. Influences of fragmentation and disturbance on the potential impact of feral predators on native fauna in Australian forest ecosystems. Wildlife Research 23 : 387-400

McIntosh, D.L. 1963. Food of the fox in the Canberra district. CSIRO Wildlife Research 8 : 1-20

Meek, P.D. & Triggs, B. 1998. The food of foxes, dogs and cats on two peninsulas in Jervis Bay, New South Wales. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 120 : 117-127

Pech, R.P. & Hood, G.M. 1998. Foxes, rabbits, alternative prey and rabbit calicivirus disease: consequences of a new biological control agent for an outbreaking species in Australia. Journal of Applied Ecology 35 : 434-453

Phillips, M. & Catling, P.C. 1992. Home range and activity patterns of red foxes in Nadgee Nature Reserve. Wildlife Research 27 : 55-57

Priddel, D. & Wheeler, R. 1997. Efficacy of fox control in reducing the mortality of released captive-reared malleefowl, Leipoa ocellata . Wildlife Research 24 : 469-482

Rolls, E.C. 1969. They All Ran Wild. The Story of Pests on the Land in Australia . Sydney : Angus & Robertson 444 pp. 21 pls.

Ryan, G.E. & Croft, J.D. 1974. Observations on the food of the fox, Vulpes vulpes (L.), in Kinchega National Park, Menindee, N.S.W. Australian Wildlife Research 1 : 89-94

Saunders, G., Coman, B., Kinnear, J. & Braysher, M. 1995. Managing vertebrate pests: foxes . Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service 141 pp.

Strong, B.W. & Low, W.A. 1983. A short note on the distribution of the fox ( Vulpes vulpes ) in the southern Northern Territory. Northern Territory Naturalist 6 : 20-23

Thompson, M.B. 1983. Populations of the Murray River tortoise Emydura (Chelodina): the effect of egg predation by the red fox, Vulpes vulpes . Australian Wildlife Research 10 : 363-371

Thomson, P.C., Marlow, N.J., Rose, K., & Kok, N.E. 2000. The effectiveness of a large-scale baiting campaign and an evaluation of a buffer zone strategy for fox control. Wildlife Research 27 : 465-472

Triggs, B., Brunner, H. & Cullen, J.M. 1984. The food of the fox, dog and cat in Croajingalong National Park, southeastern Victoria. Australian Wildlife Research 11 : 491-499

Wallis, R.L. & Brunner, H. 1987. Changes in mammalian prey of foxes, Vulpes vulpes (Carnivora: Canidae) over 12 years in a forest park near Melbourne, Victoria. Australian Mammalogy 10 : 43-44

Zimen, E. (ed.) 1980. The Red Fox , Symposium on behaviour and ecology . The Hague : Junk vi 285 pp.


Common Name References

ABRS 2001. Census of Australian Vertebrates. Australian Biological Resources Study. (Fox)

Clayton, M., Wombey, J.C., Mason, I.J., Chesser, R.T. & Wells, A. 2006. CSIRO List of Australian Vertebrates: A Reference with Conservation Status . Melbourne : CSIRO Publishing iv 162 pp. [114] (Red Fox)


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
16-Oct-2013 13-Dec-2010 MOVED
12-Feb-2010 (import)

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Last modified: Tuesday, 14 December 2010 12:40:23 PM AEDT

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