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Red Fox Facts | Yellowstone Wildlife Guide

The reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone benefited red foxes by controlling coyote populations. Unlike wolves, coyotes compete with foxes for food and sometimes even hunt them. As coyote numbers have dropped, fox sightings have increased, and these bold animals are the canine we are most likely to see on this trip.

Most red fox populations across North America descended from imported European red foxes, which interbred with native subspecies. Yellowstone is home to two separate subpopulations, one that lives at elevations above 7,000 feet, and another at lower elevations. Despite the lack of any physical or geographical barrier, these subpopulations do not seem to interbreed. The cream-colored red foxes we might see around Cooke City are currently being studied by researchers in response to the lack of scientific information about the red fox populations around the park.

Despite their name, red foxes’ color can range from deep red to grizzled grey, to an extremely light yellow. But there are a few characteristics that can help identify red foxes regardless of their color phase: look for the black “socks” on their legs, white cheek patches and a white tip on the end of their bushy tail. The nose of the foxes found on cliffs in the high Arctic areas are more pointed than those of coyotes, and they are significantly smaller, only weighing 8 to 15 pounds.

HABITAT & FEEDING HABITS

Red foxes become accustomed to humans and can be found living in suburban neighborhoods as long as they can find places to hide and breed, like below decks. They live in every state in the United States except Hawaii and on every continent except Antarctica. In the wild, they prefer edge habitats where they can hunt voles, birds, eggs, lizards and other small prey in open meadows and then retreat to the woods for protection.
See Red Foxes on These Yellowstone Trips
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Yellowstone Wolf Quest Photo Adventure

Yellowstone Wolf Quest Photo Adventure

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