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 Animal Fact Sheet:  Gray Fox

Identifying Features

The gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) can be identified by its coat color which is silver-gray on its back and face, reddish on its legs and chest and white on its throat, mid-belly, and the insides of it legs. It has a long bushy tail with a black tip and black stripe along the top. A thin black stripe runs from the outside corner of each eye to the sides of the head.

Adaptations

The gray fox is the only member of the dog family will climb trees, either to search for prey, sleep, or to escape from predators. They have strong, hooked claws that enable them to climb trees.

Habitat

Gray fox prefer rocky canyons and ridges, but can also be found in wooded areas, open desert and grasslands.

Range

Gray fox ranges from southern Canada into most of the United States and into Mexico, central America and parts of South America.

Wild Status

Gray fox are doing well in the wild and are under no special conservation listing.

Diet

Gray fox are considered omnivores, therefore they eat a wide variety of foods. Small mammals, eggs, fruit, birds, insects, nuts, berries, and lizards are some of their food choices. They are even known to raid peoples garbage cans in search of something to eat.

Predators

The gray foxy falls prey to cougars, eagles, owls, bobcats, hawks, coyotes, and humans who kill them for their fur. Over 500,000 are trapped each year to meet the ever growing demand for their fur.

Home

The home of a fox is called a den. Fox will make their dens in old hollow logs or trees, in boulder piles, in mine shafts, in caves, or they may take over an abandon burrow and enlarge it for their own use.

Life Span

In the wild, gray fox usually live between 7-10 years, although some do live to be much older.

Size

>The gray fox weighs about 4 to 5 pounds and stands 12-15 inches tall at the shoulder.

Extra Fun-facts

  • If a gray fox has more food than it is able to eat, it will cache the remaining food and come back to eat it later. It will mark the spot that the food is buried by peeing on it.
  • The female fox can give birth to between 3 and 7 pups, although 4 is average.

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