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Course Outline

Red Fox
  • Physical Appearance: Adult red foxes are typically 39 to 43 inches in length and weigh from 7 to 15 pounds. They have a bushy, white-tipped tail that is about 70% of their body length. Red foxes display three color phases with the red phase being the most common in North America. Red foxes are distinguished from gray foxes by their white-tipped tail.
  • Range: The range of the red fox includes most of North America from Alaska and northern Canada, south to central Texas. They occur from the east coast westward through the Rocky Mountains and also throughout the Pacific Northwest. They are rare in the southern Coastal Plain.
  • Habitat: Red foxes occupy barren arctic regions, boreal forests, mountainous forest regions as far north as Alaska, agricultural and woodland areas, as well as suburban and urban areas. Quality of habitat and the availability of prey are limiting factors for red fox density, but these have not limited the distribution of this species.
  • Food Habits: Red foxes are omnivorous, meaning they consume animals as varied as insects, small mammals, and sometimes pets. They will also consume ground-nesting birds and their eggs, as well as turtles, frogs, and snakes. Red foxes will also eat berries and fruits when in season.
  • Reproduction: Red foxes mate from January through March although they may mate later in their more northern range. Litters average three to seven pups, which are born from March through May and about 51 to 53 days after conception. Males and females may remain as breeding pairs for several years and work cooperatively to rear their offspring. When on a good range, females can breed prior to one year of age. Pups are weaned at eight weeks of age and typically disperse during the fall.
  • Populations: Red foxes are territorial, usually occupying areas that have little overlap with the home range of others. Population densities range from one adult for every three square miles to more than eight adults per square mile on good range. Home ranges are typically from two to eight adults per square mile.
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