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Did you know?

Fennec fox use their large ears to radiate heat as well as giving them excellent hearing

Quick Facts

Weight: 0.8-1.5kgs

Size: 24-41cms

Number of offspring: 1-6 kits

Gestation: 2 months

Maturity: 7-10 months

Lifespan: 10-12yrs

Predators: Birds of prey, jackals, caracals and hyenas

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FENNEC FOX

Vulpes zerda

Habitat

Sandy desert and semi dessert, exclusively hot dry regions. Preferring stable sand dunes, in which they can burrow.

Natural behavior

Nocturnal; staying cool within underground burrows during the day. Fennec fox can live for an indefinite amount of time without drinking water by hydrating solely through food. Males are dominant in behavior, marking territory and aggressively competing during mating season.

Description

Smallest species of the canids. Coat is wooly and cream-sand in colour. Their ears are large, measuring around 10cm in length. Thick hair is present on the soles of their feet and they have a thick bushy tail with black tip.

Distribution

Northern Africa, throughout the Sahara Desert and east to the Sinai Peninsula

Diet

Mostly carnivorous and opportunistic, eating insects, snails, reptiles, rodents, birds, eggs, some fruit, berries and plant matter.

Reproduction

Mating occurs during January-February. 1-2 liters per year depending on conditions. The male provides food and defends the burrow until the kits are 4 weeks’ old

Social structure

Social; forming monogamous bonding pairs. Fennec fox live in a family unit of up to 10 individuals, consisting of a breeding pair and their offspring

Threats

Hunting for meat and fur trade, habitat loss and illegal pet trade, also killed by domestic dogs