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Kit Fox

From Academic Kids

Kit Fox
Conservation status: Lower risk (cd)
Kit Fox
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Family:Canidae
Genus:Vulpes
Species:V. macrotis
Binomial name
Vulpes macrotis
Merriam, 1888

The Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotis) is a relatively common North American fox particularly found in western, open prairie, plains and desert regions. Its range extends into northern Mexico. Some mammalogists classify it as conspecific with the Swift Fox V. velox, but molecular systematics imply that the two species are distinct. It has a generally gray coat, with rusty tones, and a black tip to its tail. Unlike the Gray Fox it has no stripe along the length of its tail.

The Kit Fox is an opportunistic predator. It will eat small mammals (especially rabbits and hares), but it will also take small birds, and invertebrates, as well as plant matter. The species is primarily nocturnal, but they are sometimes seen by day. Mating occurs late in winter, and 4-7 pups are born after a gestation period of about 8 weeks. The young are altricial and do not leave the den until about 4 weeks old.

Subspecies

The Kit Fox has several recognized subspecies.

The San Joaquin Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica) was formerly common in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Its range has shrunk and in 1990 the population was estimated at 7,000. It is considered to be endangered.

The Desert Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotis arsipus) lives in the Mojave Desert.

The Southern California Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotis macrotis) was a population of kit foxes native to desert regions of Southern California which became extinct in 1903.

External link

Template:Mammal-stubda:Kitræv

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