What Is a Fox's Shelter?

By Naomi Millburn

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Foxes refer to carnivorous mammals that are members of the family Canidae, as are domestic dogs and coyotes. Numerous different species of foxes exist, including kit foxes (Vulpes macrotis), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus). When it comes to shelter, foxes are usually big on dens.

Den Life

Dens often serve as shelters for foxes. Dens generally describe holes or burrows that foxes dig in the dirt. Foxes employ dens for a variety of reasons, from simple rest and taking care of their youngsters to protecting themselves from uncomfortable climate conditions, notably aggressive breezes or temperature extremes. Red foxes, bat-eared foxes (Otocyon megalotis) and kit foxes, for example, are all avid den residents. While gray foxes occasionally find shelter underground in dens, they don't do so as often as some other types of foxes, including red foxes. Foxes frequently dig dens in areas with crumbly dirt or with lots of thick plants. Fox dens are commonly referred to as "earths."

Outside of Dens

Shelter for foxes isn't restricted to comfortable dens in the soil. Gray foxes, for one, regularly seek sanctuary in other places. Some of them establish burrows in the middle of sizable bedrocks that jut out from the dirt. Some of them make their homes in logs and trees that are hollow. Red foxes don't live solely in dens, either, as heaps of scrubby plants sometimes make residences for them.

Excavation Duties

When it comes time to dig out earths, foxes often handle excavation duties all by themselves. Some exceptions occur, however. Foxes sometimes utilize earths that were carved out beforehand by badgers and woodchucks. They also sometimes utilize ones that were made by rabbits. Foxes often dig for reasons other than making dens. Fennec foxes (Vulpes zerda), for example, frequently dig for spots to stash away valuable sustenance.

Living Environments of Foxes

These lithe creatures inhabit a broad selection of habitats. They're seen in many parts of Asia, Europe and North America. They even have strong presences in certain African regions. Foxes do not have presences in southeastern portions of Asia or on Antarctica. Some typical living environments for these canids are woodlands, agricultural sites, savannas, grasslands and forests. Some foxes frequently make themselves at home in residential communities alongside humans, too. They often dig out earths in peoples' yards, as long as there are roomy gardens and suitable places to hide, such as areas by outbuildings.

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