赤狐Red fox

1. 分类Taxonomy




赤狐Vulpes vulpesLinnaeus1758);英文名Red Fox

2. 保护级别Conservation Assessment


National second class key protected species of China


Least Concerned species on IUCN Red List

3. 形态特征Physical Description





The red fox has the largest body size of Vulpes species. The length of their body is about 80 cm, the length of the tails is about 45 cm, and their weight is about 3.6-7 kg.

Red fox has slender body shape, a long snout, large triangle ears, as well as four long, thin legs. The tail is quite long, which is 60%-70% of the body length. The hair of tail is thick and long, which make it looks fluffy (Fig. 1, 2).

The fur is long and thick, and with thick, soft hair on the bottom in winter. Coloration and shape of fur varies depend on seasons and places. The fur is thinner and shorter in the south, while thicker and longer in the north. The overall hair color may be yellow, brown, or dark red, but usually reddish. The legs are black; the shoulders and the sides of body are pale yellow. The back side of the ear is black or brown, and belly is white. The color of the tail is like the color of the body, and the tail tip is usually white (Fig. 1, 2).

There is a 2cm grand under the tail, which makes red fox stink.


1. 赤狐实体图(作者Jeroen van der Kooij;来源IUCN

Figure 1. Red fox (contributor: Jeroen van der Kooij; origin: IUCN)


2. 赤狐实体图(来源百度词条)

Figure 2. Red fox (origin: Baidu)


4. 地理分布



3. 赤狐世界范围地理分布(来源IUCN

Figure 3. Geographic range of red fox around the world (origin: IUCN)



Red foxes are the most widely distributed terrestrial carnivore in the world, whose range is throughout Eurasia (except tropical area of southeast Asia) and North America in the northern hemisphere, and were introduced into Australia and other places (Fig. 3).

When it comes to the range in China, ihistory, red foxes are widely distributed in the mainland except Taiwan, Hainan, but the specific distribution in present is not very clear. They are commonly seen in the mountain area of north China (e.g., Shanxi, Hebei)from the Tibet Plateau to the Hengduan Mountains (e.g., Tibet, Qinghai, western Sichuan, northwestern Yunnan), in Mongolia Plateau (Inner Mongolia), and northwest area of China (e.g., Xinjiang).

5. 栖息环境Habitat



Red foxes can live in a variety of habitats, such as deserts, forests, alpine tundra, farmland and metropolitan areas. They like open places and bushes with different kinds of plants.  

In the north they might live directly in the old burrows of animals such as badgers and marmots, or enlarge the old burrows and move in.  Sometimes they even live in the same burrow with badgers.  

6. 生活习性Ecology

6.1 食物Food Habits




4. 赤狐捕食(作者Jim Germond;来源Animal Diversity Web

Figure 4. Red fox and its prey (contributor: Jim Germond; origin: Animal Diversity Web)



Red foxes are carnivores, meaning they eat mostly meat. Their diet consists mainly of small ground-dwelling mammals such as mice, rabbits, and squirrels; Other foods include chickens and other birds, frogs, snakes, insects, berries and plants.  Red foxes may also eat carrion, which increases in winter and early spring when food is scarce.  

Red fox will storage the food surpluse.

6.2 社群Sociality


Red fox is usually solitary, but the mother-children groups are also common (Fig. 5).


5. 母赤狐与幼崽(来源堆糖网)

Figure 5. Mother-children family group (origin: www.duitang.com)

6.3 领域Home range

活动范围大,每天活动范围达10 平方千米,领地不重叠。冬季领域比夏季的大。秋季进行扩散,雄性通常比雌性扩散得更远。

The activity range of red fox is large, with the daily range up to 10 km2. Their territory does not overlap. The territory range in winter is larger than that in summer. Red foxes spread in autumn, males usually spread further than females.

6.4 节律Rhythm


Red foxes are nocturnal animals who tend to be active at night.

7. 繁殖




妊娠期49-56天,一般为51-53天。3-5月幼崽出生;赤狐常常挖洞产仔育幼。每胎产仔 1-13只,均值为5只。新生儿体重为50-150克;出生时眼没睁开,到9-14天后才会睁眼。幼崽约4-5周后会离开巢穴,哺乳期持续约45天,10月龄时性成熟。



Red foxes are generally monogamous.

The annual estrous period of female red foxes last from 1 to 6 days. Males fight during the breeding season.

The mating season is from the end of December to the end of MarchCopulation usually lasts 15 or 20 minutes and is often accompanied by a vocal clamor.

Gestation is typically between 51 and 53 days but can be as short as 49 days or as long as 56 days. Litters vary in size from 1 to 13 pups with an average of 5. Birth weight is between 50 and 150 g. The pups are born blind but open their eyes 9 to 14 days after birth. Pups leave the den 4 or 5 weeks after birth and are fully weaned by 45 days. Sexual maturity is reached by 10 months.

Both parents share the care of the young, and the male fox also participates in the rearing.

Red foxes can live for 10-12 years in captivity.





FOX D. "Vulpes vulpes(On-line), Animal Diversity Web[EB/OL]. 2007. https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Vulpes_vulpes/

HOFFMANN M, SILLERO-ZUBIRI C. Vulpes vulpes amended version of 2016 assessment. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T23062A193903628[EB/OL]. 2021. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-1.RLTS.T23062A193903628.en

SMITH A T, 解焱中国兽类野外手册[M]. 长沙湖南教育出版社, 2009.

国家林业和草原局/国家公园管理局国家重点保护野生动物名录[EB/OL]. 2021. http://www.forestry.gov.cn/html/main/main3954/20210225160347342521589/file/20210225160401102702964.pdf

刘少英, 吴毅. 中国兽类图鉴[M]. 福州海峡书局, 2019.

鲁长虎, 孙立峰. 南京市野生动物资源[M]. 南京东南大学出版社, 2016.