Canid Science

Vulpes vulpes

Today some Tuesday Fun Facts on Vulpes vulpes:

It was once thought that North America's Red Fox population was largely due to the introduction of European Red Foxes in the 17th century. Recent genetic studies suggest that the expansion of red foxes in North America after the European fox introductions was actually the result of the dispersal of native foxes southward from Canada. The genetics also show an absence of European fox haplotypes ( a group of genes within an organism that was inherited together from a single parent) in any North American populations (Statham et al. 2012).

According to IUCN, " A recent extensive global phylogeny of Red Foxes that included ~1,000 samples from across the species’ range found that Red Foxes originated in the Middle East, then radiated out, and that Red Foxes in North America are genetically distinct and probably merit recognition as a distinct species (Vulpes fulva) (Statham et al. 2014)".

It is thought the Red Fox colonized North America shortly after the Wisconsin glaciation (85,000 to 11,000 years ago).

Also, to note: There are at least 46 subspecies of Red Fox , 12 of those being within North America!