|Size:||36 to 46 inches (91 to 117 cm)|
|Weight:||9 to 15 pounds (4 to 7 kg)|
|Diet:||Small mammals such as rodents and rabbits; birds, nuts, grain, grass, fruit and berries|
|Distribution:||Canada, U.S., Europe, Asia, Australia and North Africa|
|Young:||1 litter per year of 1 to 13 kits|
|Animal Predators:||Wolves, coyotes, lynxes and bobcats|
|IUCN Status:||No special status|
|Terms:||Male: Reynard Female: Vixen Young: Kit or Pup|
|Lifespan:||5 to 9 years in the wild|
· Some scientists believe British settlers brought red foxes to North America in the nineteenth century.
· Rabies is a huge problem for red foxes, whose numbers suffer periodically due to epidemic outbreaks of this disease.
· Red foxes are the world’s most widely distributed carnivore.
Red foxes are medium-sized members of the dog family. They have reddish-brown fur with white undersides. Other colours include black, silver or a cross—red with dark fur on their shoulders and the middle of their back. The bottom half of their legs are black and their bushy tail has a white or black tip. Adult red foxes have yellow eyes and their nose is black or dark brown.
The range of adult male foxes varies from five to 50 square kilometres (1.9 to 19 sq m). Dens are usually the burrows of animals (such as badgers or woodchucks) that have been taken over by foxes and enlarged. The same den is often used over and over, spanning several generations. Dens have several entrances and exits and a special room for birthing. Foxes often keep the same home range for life. Preferred habitats include tundra, prairie, farmland and forests that are nearby open areas and streams.
Red foxes eat rodents, insects and fruit and are instrumental in keeping rodent populations from getting out of hand. Their diet changes with the season, eating mostly meat such as rabbits, birds and groundhogs in the winter, but preferring nuts, grains, grass, fruit and berries—especially blueberries, raspberries and wild cherries, in summer.
Red foxes mate from December to April, depending where they live, with one to 13 pups being born almost two months later in a special area of the den. The female stays in the den when the birth is near, while her partner brings her food. After the birth, they take turns caring for the pups during the first month, until they are old enough to leave the den. The pups are born blind and helpless, opening their eyes at nine to 14 days. By eight to 10 weeks, they are fully weaned and begin to learn how to hunt and forage for food. The pups remain with their parents until autumn, when the male pups first begin to disperse, followed shortly thereafter by the females. Females sometimes stay with the family to help raise the next set of young.
They are solitary animals who do not run in packs. Foxes usually travel at a trot, and are capable of leaping fences more than six feet (2 m) in height. They can run for many miles before succumbing to exhaustion, and they are also capable swimmers.
Red foxes are not of conservation concern.