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The 10 Most Endangered Fox Species

Updated on July 8, 2017

Foxes are the close relative of dogs, wolves, coyote and jackal, and smallest member of the Canidae family. They look like a small dog and lean dog that has a long bushy tail and thick and soft fur, the size of the fur varies, usually, the foxes living in colder places have long fur and others have short or medium fur.

The Critically Endangered Foxes
The Critically Endangered Foxes | Source

Around 37 foxes are available, but only 12 foxes are considered “True Fox Species” that belongs to genus Vulpes. It was observed in recent years, these beautiful animals are decreasing their population In recent years their population was reduced and You may wonder to know more than 50% fox species are either endangered or recently received the status Least Concern (population stable). Find the list of 10 most endangered foxes in the world.

Endangered Foxes and Conservation status Summary

Fox Species
Scientific name
Conservation status
The swift fox
Vulpes velox
Nearly extinct in the 1930s, Least Concern
Sierra Nevada red fox
Vulpes vulpes necator
IUCN Red List of Critically Endangered
The Bengal fox (Indian Fox)
Vulpes bengalensis
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Cape Fox (Silver Fox)
Vulpes chama
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Arctic Fox
Vulpes lagopus
Least Concern (population stable)
Fennec Fox
Vulpes zerda
Least Concern (population stable)
Arabian fox
Vulpes vulpes arabica
Least Concern (population stable)
Rusian Red Fox
Vulpes vulpes)
Least Concern (population stable)
Tibetan sand fox
Vulpes ferrilata
Least Concern (population stable)
The Island Fox
Urocyon littoralis
Least Concern (population increasing)

1. The Swift Fox

The Swift fox
The Swift fox | Source

The swift fox is a small and an endangered dog species in North America, having weight in between 2 to 3 Kgs and average height of 30 cms that lives in of North American states Montana, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas and Mexico. The swift fox was once a severely endangered species, due to predator control programs in the 1930s that were aimed mostly at the gray wolf and the coyote, But recent the conservation status of the species is considered by the IUCN as Least Concern.

2. The Sierra Red Fox

The Critically Endangered Sierra Nevada Red Fox
The Critically Endangered Sierra Nevada Red Fox | Source

Sierra Nevada red fox is also known as the High Sierra fox or Sierra Red fox that lives in high mountain habitats. The Sierra Nevada red foxes are introduced to critically endangered mammals in North America. Basically, they are a subspecies of Red foxes, which have the similar physical traits, coats and color like Red fixes but they are smaller than Red foxes.

3. Indian Fox or Bengal Fox

Endangered Bengal Fox or Indian Fox
Endangered Bengal Fox or Indian Fox | Source

The Bengal fox or the Indian fox, is native to India that lives in the Himalayas in Nepal to the southern tip of the Indian peninsula. They are small foxes that have relatively slender leg than others and very bushy tail. In recent years, since after 1950 their population was decreased drastically and very few Begal Foxes were available. The hunting for its skin and flesh, and the conversion of its grassland habitat to agriculture, industry is the main reason for their extinction, Very few Bengal Foxes are left and they are identified by the IUCN to Critically endangered category.

4. Cape Fox (Silver Fox)

Cape Fox
Cape Fox | Source

The cape Foxes are also known as Maltosis, which are the canned from dog family also called Cape Fox, Big-eared Fox or bat-eared fox, found in open, arid areas of eastern and southern Africa. Maltosis are like the red fox in appearance, but have unusually large ears. These foxes are yellowish gray with black face and leg along with black-tipped ears and tail. Cape foxes are mainly active at night, they lie up during the day. They are opportunists and known to hunt and eat reptiles, rabbits, spiders and birds. They also eat eggs and carrion and most insects or fruits. They are an endangered fox species and introduced to the list of critically endangered by IUCN.

5. The Darwin Fox

The Darwin Fox
The Darwin Fox | Source

The Darwin's fox is an endangered fox species, also known as Darwin Fox, Darwin's Zorro, Zorro de Darwin. Darwin's Foxes are named after Charles Darwin. They are the smallest fox of all fox species.

Darvin’s Fox has a thick coat of greyish-black color with rust-like colouring on the legs and around the ears, and a dark grey tail. It’s differentiated from the gray fox since its darker, has shorter legs and a broader and shorter skull. Darwin's fox has a vast range of choices when it comes to diet, in dense forests where it exists. The fox hunt for mammals, reptiles, beetles. Sometimes it selects fruits and berries.

6. Fennec Fox

Fennec Fox
Fennec Fox | Source

The Fennec fox is the smallest nocturnal fox and canine species in the world, found in Sahara of North Africa and also known as the desert fox. They are rare fox species, their small size, rounded eyes and big ears make them unique. In recent years, they are domesticated as pets and one of the most adorable, popular exotic pets. Once they were introduced to endangered list of IUCN, but in rancid years their population is increased and they are out of endangered list of IUCN.

7. Arctic Fox (Polar Fox)

Endangered Arctic Fox
Endangered Arctic Fox | Source

The Arctic fox lives in entire Arctic tundra, through Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Russia, Norway, Scandinavia, and Iceland and is the one among the rare animals that can survive below the temperature of 50 degrees. They are also known as Polar fox, White fox, and Snow fox. They have long, dense, thick fur that helps them to survive in the cold snow and their long fluffy tail helps them to cover their body and hide face and nose to protect from snow. Unfortunately, the population of these small foxes is decreasing, they are introduced to critically endanger category by ICNU. The shrinking snow areas in the wake of global warming, and being hunted by humans for their fur is another major reason for their decreasing population.

8. Arabian Fox

Arabian Fox
Arabian Fox | Source

The Arabian Red Fox is a subspecies of the Red Fox native to Arabia. It is similar in colour to the more common Red Fox but Arabian Red Fox appears to have thinner bodies and longer legs. It’s much smaller than European Red Fox and its ears are much larger which serve to dissipate heat. The Arabian Red Fox also has fur between its toes, which prevents burning of the feet. Its slender body, large ears and long tail confer it a different appearance than other red foxes. They are identified by the IUCN to the endangered list, though their population is now stable and they are under list concerns category.

9. Tibetan Sand Fox

The Tibetan Sand Fox
The Tibetan Sand Fox | Source

The Tibetan sand foxes are small and compact foxes, also known sand fox or Tibetan fox. They are native to Tibetan plain lives in Ladakh plateau, Nepal, China, Sikkim, and Bhutan. They are unique foxes with conspicuously narrow muzzles and weird, square face. Once introduced to ICUN endangered list, now they are classed as "least concern" for extinction by the IUCN.

10. The Island fox

Catalina Island Foxes No Longer Endangered
Catalina Island Foxes No Longer Endangered | Source

The island fox is a small fox that is the closest relative, the gray fox but much smaller in size. They are native to the six of the eight Channel Islands of California. These are the six subspecies, each unique to the island it lives.

1. San Miguel Island fox (Urocyon littoralis littoralis
2. Santa Rosa Island fox (Urocyon littoralis santarosae)
3. Santa Cruz Island fox (Urocyon littoralis santacruzae)
4. Santa Catalina Island fox (Urocyon littoralis catalinae)
5. San Nicolas Island fox (Urocyon littoralis dickey)
6. San Clemente Island fox (Urocyon littoralis clementae)

All these foxes reflect their evolutionary history, which are considered an U.S. Endangered Species (2004) on four islands: San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz and Santa Catalina Islands and once nearly extinct California Island foxes are no longer endangered.


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