Kit Fox

What do you think is the smallest species of canid that lives in Nevada? Coyote? Red fox? Nope! The Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotis) takes the prize of being the smallest member of the dog family, not only in Nevada, but all of North America! While Kit Foxes are primarily found in the desert southwest, they can be found as far north as Oregon. The southern most extent of their range extends into central Mexico. Kit Foxes have adapted to live in arid regions, showing a preference for desert scrub, chaparral, and grasslands.

Click here to view a map of their range!

These lightweights weigh between 3.25 and 6.5 pounds and have a body length of up to 20.5 inches. Being omnivorous, they eat anything from insects, small mammals, to even berries. In order to escape the heat of the day, Kit Foxes often remain secluded in their dens until dark. Under the cover of night, these nocturnal predators emerge to hunt.

While technically canines, Kit Foxes have many cat-like characteristics. Unlike dogs that generally grab and shake their prey, these foxes instead rely on their bite to kill. Additionally, foxes have slit, vertical pupils and partially retractable claws. Foxes can extend their claws when they need to climb trees and can retract them when they need to silently stalk their prey.

Denise Peterson

Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *