Kit Fox

Scientific Name: Vulpes macrotis

Status: State Endangered

Description:

The kit fox is a small mammal of the Southwest desert weighing only about three to six pounds, making them about the size of a full-grown jackrabbit, and ​​the smallest fox in North America​.​ They closely resemble swift foxes found on the eastern plains of Colorado, but have larger ears and a more angular appearance. They have long, black-tipped, bushy tails, dark muzzles and a yellow-gray grizzled coat.

Range:

In Colorado, kit foxes live in the semi-desert shrub lands extending from Montrose to Grand Junction. The mammals can also be found in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, western​ Texas, Utah, ​​southern Oregon and central Mexico.

Habitat:

Kit foxes occupy sparsely-covered, semi-desert shrublands of saltbrush, shadscale and greasewood. They spend most of their days in dens that are scattered around the landscape and which are very important for raising young and avoiding predators, such as coyote. Kit foxes generally live in small groups, digging clusters of dens with multiple entrances. The animals move from one den to another and emerge at night to hunt.

Diet:

From studies in Colorado examining diets, the fox primarily prey on cottontail rabbits, jackrabbits, white-tailed prairie dogs, rock squirrels ​and kangaroo rats, but will also eat birds, reptiles, and insects when prey is scarce.​

Reproduction:

Dens are scattered within their territories. Kit foxes are active year-round and mate sometime between December and February. Gestation lasts just under two months, and most litters contain four or five pups.

Additional Information:

Endangered status: The kit fox is listed as endangered in Colorado, and is considered one of the state's most vulnerable mammal species.​​ Conversion of the kit foxes' native grounds to agriculture and development usage has resulted in a loss of habitat. Predation by coyotes, road-kill, trapping, shooting and predator poisoning are the main causes of mortality for the foxes. Once a furbearer in Colorado, the kit fox has been protected since 1994.

$179.16 20% off
The Sisstr Revolution 7 Seas 3/2mm Chest-Zip Long-Sleeve Full Wetsuit is designed with stretch, a great fit, and warmth...
Price subject to change | Available through Backcountry.com
Featured Park
Two deserts, two large ecosystems whose characteristics are determined primarily by elevation, come together at Joshua Tree National Park. The Colorado Desert encompasses the eastern part of the park and features natural gardens of creosote bush...
Featured Wildlife
Maine ocean islands provide the only nesting sites for Atlantic puffins in the United States. Eastern Egg Rock in the midcoast region, Seal Island and Matinicus Rock at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, and Machias Seal Island and Petit Manan Island off the downeast coast provide habitat for more than 4,000 puffins each summer.