Gray Foxes: One of Delaware’s Most Diffident Residents
Author Haley & Isabel
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.