Fennec fox Vulpes zerda (ESB)
Gestationabout 7 weeks
omnivorous (insects, small rodents, lizards, eggs, fruit, tubers)
North Africa (Sahara: from Mauritania in the west to Sudan in the east)
Fennec foxes are the smallest canid. They are fully adapted to desert life, needing very little water and bearing thick fur that protects them from the heat as well as the cold. The sole of their paws is covered with hair so they can walk on burning sand. Ventilation is enabled by their large ears (20% of their total body surface), which also pick up the slightest sounds and detect the presence of prey or predators, even distant. Fennec foxes can also reduce the amount they sweat in case of extreme heat so as to minimise the loss of water.
Largely nocturnal, fennec foxes live in small family groups consisting of a breeding couple and their young. Their burrows are dug out of the sand and shelter the newborns for their first few weeks of life.
Status in the wild (Source: IUCN)
- Not evaluatedNE
- Data deficientDD
- Least concernLC
- Near threatenedNT
- Critically endangeredCR
- Extinct in the wildEW