The swift fox hails from North America and is only about the size of a large house cat. They can be found among the Great Plains region of North America, in places like Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming, all the way up into Canada. Swift foxes prefer short-grass prairies and western grasslands. Even though they suffer at the hands of habitat destruction, vehicle strike (being hit by motor vehicles), hunting, and trapping, these little foxes are still listed as Least Concern by the IUCN and their current population seems stable.
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Vulpes velox
Weight: Up to 4.6 lbs.
Length: Up to 1.7 feet, plus up to a 13.7 inch tail
Height: Up to 12 inches
Lifespan: Up to 14 years
Now on to the Facts!
1.) Swift foxes are social critters that form small troops.
2.) They are, like other foxes, nocturnal (active at night).
3.) These little critters can dig burrows of up to 13 feet.
4.) Even though they dig burrows, they aren’t fossorial (don’t spend most of their lives underground). They only use burrows as safety from the weather and from predators.
5.) A group of foxes is called a leash, earth, skulk, troop, or lead.
But wait, there’s more on the swift fox!
6.) The swift fox is monogamous (mates for life) but can also exhibit seasonal monogamy (stay with the same partner only during the breeding season).
7.) Females undergo up to a 51 day gestation (pregnancy) that yields up to 4 pups.
Did you know…?
A swift fox can run at speeds of up to 40 mph!
8.) Pups are born altricial (an undeveloped state that requires care and feeding by 1 or both parents).
9.) Unusual among canids, the swift fox’s troop is led by a dominant female.
But wait, there’s still more on the swift fox!
12.) If times are lean enough, they may also consume carrion (dead animals).
Now a Short Swift Fox Video!
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