Living the Wild Life

The Fox

The fox (madra rua or sionnach) is one of our more elusive animals. Being mainly nocturnal (active at night) it is often a rare occurrence to get a good glimpse of the animal. If you are lucky enough you would notice their reddish brown coat and long bushy white tipped tail, called a brush. Young foxes are known as cubs and are born between February and April. In their first few months, the vixen (female fox) teaches the cub how to forage. Their average life expectancy is about four years although many don't survive their first year. Country foxes live underground in what is known as 'den's' or 'earth's'. These are mainly found around costal areas, farmland, wooded areas, and mountains. Here they mainly scavenge on anything from mice and birds but mainly insects. They are also known to brazenly eat food left out for cats and dogs. Since Victorian times foxes have been sighted in cities. Due to the ready availability of food they occur at higher densities in the city than in rural areas. In Dublin, there is an average density of one fox per km square, though some areas have 4-5 times this density.

Foxes have both excellent hearing and sense of smell, which will help them find food almost anywhere.

Communication is through a series of barks and yelps and use sent to locate their territories. Although loved by many, they are also seen as a pest in a lot of rural areas. This could be the reason that up till now they are still unprotected.


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