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Kit Fox

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Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Order: Carnivora

Family: Canidae

Genus: Vulpes

Species: V.macrotis

Overview

The Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotis) is a relatively common North American fox. Its range extends into northern Mexico. Some mammalogists classify it as conspecific with the Swift Fox V. velox, but molecular systematics imply that the two species are distinct. It has a generally gray coat, with rusty tones, and a black tip to its tail. Unlike the Gray Fox it has no stripe along the length of its tail.

Hunting and Eating Habits

The Kit Fox is mostly a nocturnal animal but sometimes ventures out of its den during the day. The Kit Fox usually goes out to hunt shortly after sunset, mostly eating small animals like kangaroo rats, jackrabbits, insects, fish, and small birds. Different Kit Fox families can occupy the same hunting grounds, but do not generally go hunting at the same time.

Mating

Male and female Kit Foxes establish pairs during October and November. Pairs can change year to year. They mate from December to February, when they use larger family dens. Litters are born throughout March and April, usually containing 3 to 14 young foxes.

Subspecies

The Kit Fox has several recognized subspecies.

  • The San Joaquin Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica) was formerly common in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Its range has shrunk and in 1990 the population was estimated at 7,000. It is considered to be endangered.

San Joaquin kit fox

The Desert Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotis arsipus) lives in the Mojave Desert.

The Southern California Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotis macrotis) was a population of kit foxes native to desert regions of Southern California which became extinct in 1903.

References

Kit Fox Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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