Pest or Vermin:
Latin Scientific Name: Vulpes vulpes.
Average lifespan: 3 to 6 years
The red fox is a small dog-like mammal, with a sharp-pointed face and a light body build that allows it to be quick on its feet. The red fox is known for its long bushy tail and lustrous rusty or orangish-red fur. The red fox has a dark muzzle and black ears and paws. Its tail-tip, throat and under parts are generally white. While male and female foxes look similar, the male fox is called a dog and is usually slightly larger than the female vixen.Fox-like features typically include a distinctive muzzle (a "fox face") and bushy tail. Other physical characteristics vary according to habitat.
Foxes are omnivores.The diet of foxes is largely made up of invertebrates and small mammals, reptiles (such as snakes), amphibians, scorpions, grasses, berries, fruit, fish, birds, eggs, dung beetles, insects and all other kinds of small animals.
Suburban and urban areas, including woodland, and farmlands also.Foxes are readily found in cities and cultivated areas and (depending upon species) seem to adapt reasonably well to human presence.The red fox generally lives on the edges of wooded areas, prairies and farmlands. Foxes only use dens when they are breeding. These dens are usually dug in sand and soil. When building the den, the fox makes sure there is more than one entrance in case of danger. When the red fox is not breeding, it sleeps in the open and keeps warm by wrapping itself with its long bushy tail.
The red fox has a litter of one to ten pups between March and May every year. The young are born blind and aren’t able to open their eyes until they’re about two weeks old. After one month, fox pups are weaned off their mother’s milk and start eating pre-chewed food. After about seven months, young red foxes are able to hunt on their own and leave their parents in search of their own territory. Some foxes have been known to travel up to 250 km to find a suitable home.
What diseases do foxes carry and spread? Foxes carry many diseases that can infect both native wildlife and domestic animals (and particularly dogs), including hydatids, distemper, parvovirus, canine hepatitis, heartworm and sarcoptic mange. In Mainland Europe, the fox is a major carrier of rabies.
Foxes may cause serious problems for poultry producers. Turkeys raised in large range pens are subject to damage by foxes. Losses may be heavy in small farm flocks of chickens, ducks, and geese. Young pigs, lambs, and small pets are also killed by foxes. Damage can be difficult to detect because the prey is usually carried from the kill site to a den site, or uneaten parts are buried. Foxes usually attack the throat of young livestock, but some kill by inflicting multiple bites to the neck and back. Foxes do not have the size or strength to hold adult livestock or to crush the skull and large bones of their prey. They generally prefer the viscera and often begin feeding through an entry behind the ribs. Foxes will also scavenge carcasses, making the actual cause of death difficult to determine.