American Red Fox, Vulpes vulpes fulvus
Canidae or Dog Family

Smallish dog-like creatures about 2 feet tall and 3 feet long, with long bushy tails. To me they look in between a dog and a cat. Color is usually reddish brown, but can be gray, silver, black, or rarely white. The lower legs are black, and the tip of the tail is white. In nighttime trail camera pics the white tail tip is not so obvious.

Red foxes are omnivores. Their main prey are rodents, although they will eat birds, reptiles, insects, and other small mammals such as raccoons, rabbits and opossums. They also are fond of fruits and acorns. They are mainly nocturnal, and you are unlikely to see one in the Park. I have only seen them at dawn and dusk, although not in Wildwood.

Red foxes are found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Their range includes nearly all of Europe and Asia, Morocco, and most of North America, except the Southwest and the Arctic Islands. It is variable throughout this range and over forty subspecies have been recognized. The American Red Fox (V. vulpes subspecies fulvus) is the most widespread subspecies in America. It is believed to have originated in Eurasia and migrated into America during the ice ages. We know it is found in the Park, but we do not know how common it is.

Gray Foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) are also known from our area and have been spotted by trail cameras at Radford University's Selu Preserve, but they have not been seen or photographed in Wildwood. They are gray, but can be reddish or brown. They have no black on their legs, but have a black-tipped tail, and a black stripe on the back. At night the black tail tip is generally visible in trail camera photos. If the face is visible, that of the Red Fox is more elongated (dog-like) and that of the Gray Fox flatter (cat-like).


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