The pale fox is found from Senegal to Northern Sudan and Somalia (Grzimeck 1990).
Biogeographic Regions: ethiopian (Native )
The pale fox has an elongated, low body, relatively short legs and a narrow muzzle. Its ears are long and rounded at the tip. Its tail is bushy and is at least half as long as its body, and often fully as long. The tip of its tail is black. The upperpart of its body is pale and sandy in color, and the underpart is buffy white. The pupil of its eye generally appears elliptical in strong light. The fox's eye is surrounded by a dark ring (Walker, 1991; Rosevear, 1974).
Range mass: 1.5 to 3.6 kg.
Habitat and Ecology
The pale fox digs extensive dens made of earth. The burrows are large, with tunnels extending 10-15 meters and opening into small chambers lined with dry vegetable material (Walker, 1991; Dorst and Dandelot, 1970).
Terrestrial Biomes: desert or dune ; savanna or grassland ; scrub forest
The pale fox feeds on rodents, small animals, small reptiles, birds, eggs, vegetable matter (wild melons), and insects (Dorst and Dandelot, 1970; Grzimeck, 1990; Walker, 1990).
Animal Foods: birds; mammals; reptiles; eggs; insects
Plant Foods: fruit
Primary Diet: omnivore
Life History and Behavior
Status: wild: 10.0 years.
Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
No information is available on the mating system of this species.
There are 51-53 days in the gestation period of the pale fox. Three to six young are born per birth; each pup weighs 1.7-3.8 ounces, or 50-100 grams. The weaning period takes six to eight weeks. The pale fox's life span is not more than 10 years (Grzimeck, 1990).
Range number of offspring: 3 to 6.
Range gestation period: 51 to 53 days.
Range weaning age: 42 to 56 days.
Average birth mass: 75 g.
Average number of offspring: 4.
Parental Investment: altricial
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 2004Data Deficient
- 1996Data Deficient
- 1994Insufficiently Known(Groombridge 1994)
- 1990Insufficiently Known(IUCN 1990)
Little is known about the species. IUCN -- "insufficiently known."
CITES: no special status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: data deficient
Gaps in knowledge
This is one of the least known canid species, and studies on distribution, status, basic biology and ecological requirements are needed.
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
As a predator, the pale flox plays an important role in the balance of the ecological system and food chain.
The Pale fox is a species of fox found in the band of African Sahel from Senegal in the west to Sudan in the east. It is one of the least studied of all canine species, in part due to its remote habitat and its sandy coat that blends in well with the desert like terrain.
The Pale fox is long-bodied with relatively short legs and a narrow muzzle. It is a relatively small canid with weight ranging from 4 - 6 pounds. The ears are large compared to other foxes but is typical of a desert inhabiting canid. The fur is generally a pale sandy color that turns white towards the belly. Its bushy tail is reddish brown and black at the tip.
The Pale fox is typically inhabits stony deserts and semi-deserts although it occasionally ventures south into the savanna. It lives in small family groups with parents and their young. During the day they rest in dug burrows that can extend up to 15 meters long and descend up to 2 meters to the ground, at dusk they venture out and forage for food, which includes plants and berries as well as rodents, reptiles and insects. It has the ability to retain water from its food, and can go almost completely without drinking.
There are five recognized subspecies of this fox:
- Vulpes pallida pallida
- Vulpes pallida cyrenaica
- Vulpes pallida edwardsi
- Vulpes pallida harterti
- Vulpes pallida oertzeni
- Wozencraft, W. C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 532–628. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. http://www.bucknell.edu/msw3/browse.asp?id=14000879.
- Sillero-Zubiri, C. & Wacher, T. (2012). "Vulpes pallida". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/23052. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
- "Arkive - Pale fox". 2006. http://arkive.org/pale-fox/vulpes-pallida/.
|This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (April 2009)|
- Walker's Mammals of the World, Fifth Edition,volume 1, Johns Hopkins University Press
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