Common Mammal Species of Northwestern Ontario





Vulpes vulpes
Red Fox


Distinguishing Features - Overall colouration, rusty red, darker on back and tail; lower jaw, throat, chest, abdomen, inside of ears and tip of tail are creamy white. Top side of ears and lower legs are black.

Cross Fox - grayish-brown overall colouration with dark cross on shoulders formed by long black guard hairs.

Silver Fox - Black overall colouration with the exception of a white tipped tail.

Red Fox Size -
.9 - 1.08 m (3 - 3.6 ft)


Widespread throughout Northwestern Ontario in and around forest clearings and in low shrub-covered areas; sometimes near farms.


The diet of the red fox is only limited by what is available at any given time. They may eat only berries and nuts when they are in season. At other times, they will eat small rodents, birds, eggs, frogs and even insects. They will often scavange left-over carcasses of larger game abandoned by wolves or bears. On occasion, they will even snatch a chicken from a farm yard.


With the exception of breeding season, red foxes are for the most part solitary hunters and stay in their home range for the most part of their lives.

Red foxes have been identified as a major carrier of rabies which sometimes breaks out in epidemic proportions. However, in recent years, outbreaks of rabies have been controlled to some extent by dropping medicated tid-bits from aircraft to inoculate fox populations.

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