Fennec Fox

Fox, Fennec

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  • Information
  • Conservation
  • Lifestyle

Description

The fennec fox is the smallest of all the natural canids with a thick and silky tan coat. Their feet are heavily furred, protecting the soft pads from the hot desert sand. Their large ears help to keep them cool while also providing them excellent hearing. This excellent hearing helps them hear prey moving underground while they reside in carefully crafted burrows. These large burrows are dug into the sand and often connect one pack of fennecs to another.

Classification

Class
Mammalia
Order
Carnivora
Family
Canidae
Genus
Vulpes
Species
V. zerda
Conservation Status
Least Concern

Key Facts

Height
7-8.5 in (~18-22 cm)
Weight
2-3.5 lb (~1-1.5 kg)

The IUCN Red List describes Vulpes zerda as a species of Least Concern. Though they are relatively widespread in the sandy deserts and semi-deserts of northern Africa; there is no detailed information on fennec fox abundance.

Social Life
Fennec foxes are social animals living in family groups of up to 10-15 individuals. Their burrows are lined with bits of fur and feathers and have been found up to 30 ft (9 m) long. Their groups usually include at least one breeding pair along with immature pups. When females give birth, males exit the burrow but stay nearby to protect the female and babies. Fennec foxes mate for life and their offspring stay with the family until the next year’s litter is born.

Habitat and Range
Fennec fox live almost exclusively in arid, sandy regions in the central Sahara Desert.

Diet
Like most canids the fennec fox hunts for a variety of prey including, rodents, lizards, insects and eggs. Living in the Sahara Desert however, roots, fruit and leaves are essential to their diet as they account for almost all of their hydration. Because of this fennecs have been known to survive long periods of drought without coming in contact with a water source.

Lifespan
The fennec fox can live for up to 10 years in the wild and up to 12 in captivity.

Predators
The main predators for the fennec fox are caracals and eagle owls. Their dens are designed for quick escape, and the sand-colored fur which helps them stalk prey may also help them evade detection by larger animals.

Reproduction
Sexual maturity: Male: 6-9 months, Female: 6-9 months
Mating Season:   January and February
Birth Season:      February through April
Gestation:           50-53 days
No. of Young:     1-6 per litter

Information

Description

The fennec fox is the smallest of all the natural canids with a thick and silky tan coat. Their feet are heavily furred, protecting the soft pads from the hot desert sand. Their large ears help to keep them cool while also providing them excellent hearing. This excellent hearing helps them hear prey moving underground while they reside in carefully crafted burrows. These large burrows are dug into the sand and often connect one pack of fennecs to another.

Classification

Class
Mammalia
Order
Carnivora
Family
Canidae
Genus
Vulpes
Species
V. zerda
Conservation Status
Least Concern

Key Facts

Height
7-8.5 in (~18-22 cm)
Weight
2-3.5 lb (~1-1.5 kg)
Conservation

The IUCN Red List describes Vulpes zerda as a species of Least Concern. Though they are relatively widespread in the sandy deserts and semi-deserts of northern Africa; there is no detailed information on fennec fox abundance.

Lifestyle

Social Life
Fennec foxes are social animals living in family groups of up to 10-15 individuals. Their burrows are lined with bits of fur and feathers and have been found up to 30 ft (9 m) long. Their groups usually include at least one breeding pair along with immature pups. When females give birth, males exit the burrow but stay nearby to protect the female and babies. Fennec foxes mate for life and their offspring stay with the family until the next year’s litter is born.

Habitat and Range
Fennec fox live almost exclusively in arid, sandy regions in the central Sahara Desert.

Diet
Like most canids the fennec fox hunts for a variety of prey including, rodents, lizards, insects and eggs. Living in the Sahara Desert however, roots, fruit and leaves are essential to their diet as they account for almost all of their hydration. Because of this fennecs have been known to survive long periods of drought without coming in contact with a water source.

Lifespan
The fennec fox can live for up to 10 years in the wild and up to 12 in captivity.

Predators
The main predators for the fennec fox are caracals and eagle owls. Their dens are designed for quick escape, and the sand-colored fur which helps them stalk prey may also help them evade detection by larger animals.

Reproduction
Sexual maturity: Male: 6-9 months, Female: 6-9 months
Mating Season:   January and February
Birth Season:      February through April
Gestation:           50-53 days
No. of Young:     1-6 per litter

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Fox, Fennec