montage of foxes, a thistle and a kestrel
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Red Fox

The Red Fox (Vulpes Vulpes), is a member of the wild dog family. Because they are closely related to domestic dogs, they seem tantalisingly familiar, yet their wildness brings an elusive mystery.

Their stunning adaptability and ability to thrive under extremes of climate and habitat also brings them into diverse conflicts with people. The problems range from the large and life-threatening, like rabies, through to more local such as the loss of livestock. The fox's diet is very wide and varied. They mainly feed on small mammals and insects but will prey on ground nesting birds such as grouse, pheasant and ducks. Foxes have been known to catch frogs and toads and they also eat fruit, being particularly partial to blackberries in season.

Breeding takes place in late autumn or early winter. A pair usually mates for life. An average of 5 pups are born after a gestation period of about 53 days. At birth the pups are blind, helpless, and brownish-black. They nurse for about two months and stay with their parents for about 6 months. The den site is usually a dug out underground burrow. The dens are usually 20-40 feet long and 3-4 deep, with multiple entrances.

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