Fennec fox

Fennec fox Vulpes zerda (ESB)

ClassMammalia
OrderCarnivora
FamilyCanidae
Size33-40cm
Weight0.8-1.3kg
Gestationabout 7 weeks
Birth1-4
Life-span12 years
Diet
omnivorous (insects, small rodents, lizards, eggs, fruit, tubers)

Habitat
desert

Range
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 evaluated
    NE
  • Data deficient
    DD
  • Least concern
    LC
  • Near threatened
    NT
  • Vulnerable
    VU
  • Endangered
    EN
  •  Critically endangered
    CR
  • Extinct in the wild
    EW
  • Extinct
    EX

In the zoo