Gray Foxes: One of Delaware’s Most Diffident Residents

Gray Foxes: One of Delaware’s Most Diffident Residents

Author Haley & Isabel

 Though many have seen the ubiquitous red fox, few people know of the shy gray fox. Photo by James Phelps, licensed under Creative Commons  Attribution 2.0 Generic .

Though many have seen the ubiquitous red fox, few people know of the shy gray fox. Photo by James Phelps, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

On the East Coast, one often sees a red fox wandering about near woods around dusk and dawn. However, a second species of fox lives throughout much of the United States: the gray fox, Urocyon cinereoargenteus. Cinereoargenteus means ‘ashen silver,’ reflecting the fox’s beautiful fur.

 

The gray fox is the only American species of canid that is able to climb trees. Its strong, hooked claws allow it to latch onto trees and quickly climb to escape from predators.

The main habitat of the gray fox spans from southern Canada to Colombia and Venezuela. Despite this, a gray fox sighting is very rare in the United States. Human development and deforestation have caused a decline in this species. The population of red foxes to gray foxes in this area used to be approximately equal. The reason we now see such a disparity between the two populations is that red foxes are much more adaptable to human advancement.

 

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