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Red Fox by Clive Nichols

Red Fox

Vulpes vulpes

Key Facts

  • Length: up to 1.5m including tail
  • Weight: up to 14kg Average lifespan: 2-3 years but can live up to 11 years in the wild

A common and familiar animal, and our only wild member of the dog family. Foxes are omnivorous, feeding on small mammals, birds, frogs, earthworms and carrion, as well as berries and fruit.

Just as likely to be seen in towns and cities as in the countryside, Foxes are now well-known for scavenging food scraps from bins, as well as catching Pigeons and Rats. Males bark but females make a spine-chilling scream, heard mostly in the winter when their courtship takes place.

How to Identify

A medium-sized dog. Orangey-red above, white below, with black tips to the ears, dark brown feet and a white tip to the bushy, orange tail (known as the ‘brush’).

Where to Find

Widespread, found everywhere except for the Channel Islands, the Isles of Scilly, Scottish islands and the Isle of Man.

What People can do

The Red Fox has been persecuted in the UK for centuries; fox hunting originated in Britain in the 16th century but hunting with dogs is now banned in the UK. If you want to encourage a friendly fox into your garden, try putting out a meal of dog food.

Did you know?

Foxes live in a burrow system called an ‘earth’. They scent-mark their territorial borders with urine creating a very strong, recognisable odour. They also have scent glands on their feet to mark well-used trails so they can follow them easily at night.

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