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Fox Habitat: Where Do Foxes Live in the World?

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Foxes live everywhere in the world except Antarctica. They are found in forests, mountains, deserts, and snow. They live in dens that they either dig, steal, or inherit. In these dens, foxes protect themselves from heat, cold, or rain, store food, and raise their young.

Foxes are found all over the world, except in Antarctica. They are especially found in areas with mixed landscapes with forests and plains, but also in mountains, deserts, or regions with a lot of snow.

They dig dens in the ground, under large stones, in caves, snow, or sand. Sometimes, they even steal dens from other animals or inherit them from their parents.

The red fox is the most widespread species of fox and can be found even in urban areas and suburbs.

In this article, you will learn more about where foxes live, what habitats they inhabit, and more.

Where Do Foxes Live?

Foxes live all over the globe, except Antarctica. They are mainly found in mixed areas with forests and plains, but you can also find foxes in mountainous, desert, or snowy regions. This varies depending on the species.

There are six genera with 23 types of foxes, but only 12 of them are considered true foxes. Different species live in different regions.

Foxes generally prefer mixed regions with forests and plains, but you can also encounter them in the arctic tundra, mountains, or deserts.

Red foxes are the most widespread fox species, as they easily adapt to new environments. This is why they are also found in urban areas and suburbs.

Where Do Foxes Live

Fox Natural Habitat

The natural habitat of foxes depends on the species. Foxes can live anywhere on the globe, except Antarctica, from forests and plains to deserts, mountains, and snowy regions.

SpeciesRangeHabitat
Simien foxEthiopian Highlands[1]Mountains. At an altitude of 3000–4500 meters.
Crab-eating foxCentral South America: Colombia, Venezuela, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Northern Argentina.[2]Savannas and tropical savannas, woodlands, plains, and subtropical forests.
Culpeo foxSouth America: Ecuador, Peru, southern Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego.Deciduous forests, grasslands, dunes, and savannas.[3]
Darwin’s foxChile and Chiloé Island.[4]Rainforests.
South American gray foxSouthern Cone of South America: Argentina, Chile, and Peru.[5]Scrublands, steppes, and forests.
Pampas foxSouth America: The Pampas.Tall grass plains, ridges, dry scrub lands, coastal sand dunes, open woodlands, grazed pastures, and croplands.[6]
Sechuran foxSouth America: The coastal zones of north-western Peru and south-western Ecuador.Sandy, agricultural lands, and dry forests.[7]
Hoary foxSouth America: Brazil.[8]Savannah.
Bat-eared foxEast and Southern Africa.[9]Grassy plains and savannas.
Gray foxNorth and Central America.[10]Dense hardwood or mixed hardwood or softwood forests.
Island fox(Six subspecies)Six of the eight Channel Islands of California.[11]Each subspecies lives on an island.
Arctic foxEurope, Asia, North America, Greenland, and Iceland.[12]Arctic and alpine tundra, coastal areas, on ice.
Bengal foxIndian subcontinent: India, Nepal, and Pakistan.[13]Semiarid and short grasslands.
Blanford’s foxSouthwest Asia and Arabian Peninsula.[14]Mountains.
Cape foxAngola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa.[15]Semi-desert regions and savannas.
Corsac foxNorthern and Central Asia.[16]Low-grass steppes.
Fennec foxNorth Africa: the Sahara Desert, Sinai, and Arabia.[17]Sandy and semi-deserts.
Kit foxMexico and United States.[18]Arid and semi-arid regions.
Pale foxAfrica: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Chad, etc.[19]Sandy or stony arid terrain, and occasionally the savannah.
Rüppell’s foxNorth Africa, the Middle East, and southwestern Asia.[20]Desert and semi-desert.
Red foxAll around the globe, except Antarctica.Forests, grasslands, mountains, deserts, and cities.[21]
Swift foxNorth America: Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Texas, etc.[22]Short-grass prairies and grasslands.
Tibetan sand foxThe Tibetan Plateau in western China and the Ladakh Plateau in India.[23]Plains, hills, and grasslands.

Forests, Woodlands, and Grasslands

Fox on Forests, Woodlands, and Grasslands

The most common fox habitats are forests, pastures, and grasslands. Several fox species live in these areas because they offer a rich and varied source of food.

These habitats have plenty of prey animals, fruits, and other plants that foxes eat.

Arctic and Alpine Tundras

Fox on Arctic and Alpine Tundras

Although they are harsh habitats, some foxes, such as the arctic fox, have adapted to the conditions. In addition to arctic foxes, some red foxes also live in these cold environments.

Temperatures reach -29.2°F (-34℃) in these regions, and large parts of the land are covered by permafrost. 

Arctic foxes make their burrows in the snow to hide food, protect themselves from the cold, and raise their young.

If food is scarce, red foxes resort to hunting and eating arctic foxes.

Deserts

Fox on Deserts

Many foxes live in the desert, one of the hottest and driest environments in the world. These foxes are called desert foxes, and they have adapted to high temperatures and little water sources. 

If temperatures drop below 68˚F (20℃), some foxes begin to shiver because they’re used to the heat. 

The most common desert fox is the Fennec Fox. Their body temperature can reach highs of 105.6˚F (40.9˚C).[24]

During the day, desert foxes hide in their dens from the heat outside while they go hunting at night. They make their burrows in large and stable sand dunes.

Mountains and Plateaus

Tibetan fox
Image Source

Some foxes are found in mountains, plateaus, or on the slopes. This includes the Tibetan fox and the Culpeo fox.

The Tibetan fox can live at heights of 11500-17000 feet, as they have adapted to the cold temperatures and low oxygen levels.

Foxes find all the conditions they need for survival in these regions such as:

  • Plenty of food.
  • Rivers and streams.
  • Large rocks that provide them with good cover both for hunting and as a den area.

Do Foxes Live Underground?

Yes, foxes live underground in dens. They also live under big rocks and in caves. All foxes dig dens. They dig their dens in the ground, sand, or snow, depending on the species.

Foxes build their dens underground, but they sleep outside. While they usually dig their own dens, they can also inherit them from their parents or steal them from other animals.

Most foxes dig their burrows in areas with vegetation, under large rocks, or in caves. Other species of foxes dig their dens in the snow or sand.

The dens serve as food storage and a place to raise their young. Foxes also hide from the bad weather and predators in their burrows.

They rarely choose to sleep in their dens, preferring to do so outside near their den. This way, they can keep an eye out for predators.

Do Foxes Live Underground

Are Foxes’ Habitat Threatened?

Not all foxes have threatened habitats. The greatest threat to foxes is humans. 

Besides the fact that humans hunt them, decimating the population, they also destroy their habitat through construction and deforestation.

The destruction and loss of habitat have resulted in some endangered fox species:

  • Sierra Nevada red fox
  • Swift fox
  • Sechuran fox
  • Island fox

Some foxes, such as the red fox, have managed to adapt to new living conditions, which is why they are seen around big cities and suburbs.

Conclusion

Foxes live everywhere in the world, except Antarctica, from plains and forests to snow, ice, and sand. They dig their dens in the ground, snow, or sand, but they can inherit them from their parents and steal or borrow from other animals.

FAQs

Where Do Foxes Live in the World?

Foxes are found everywhere in the world, except for Antarctica. There are 23 species of foxes, and their habitat depends on the region where they live. Most foxes live in mixed areas with forests and plains, but you can also encounter them in the desert, mountains, or snowy regions.

About Iulia Mihai (DVM)

Dr. Iulia is a certified veterinarian with more than 10 years of experience in the field. With extensive knowledge of diet, care, and medication, she helps Misfit Animals provide readers with accurate knowledge on technical topics.

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