Fox Vulpes zerda
Head and body length of V. zerda is 357-407 mm with
a tail length of 178-305 mm. The smallest of all the canids,
V. zerda has the largest ears in proportion to its
body. Fennec Foxes are also the palest of all the foxes. The
soft, thick pelage is reddish cream, light fawn, or nearly
white above, and the under parts are white. The tail is heavily
furred and the tip is black. V. zerda has fur on the
soles of the feet to enable easy movement over sand.
V. zerda is found in arid regions and build burrows several
meters long in the sand. Digging is done so rapidly that it
appears to sink into the ground. It may dig to find food in
addition to digging for shelter. The Fennec Fox eats a wide
variety of vegetable matter, small rodents, birds and their
eggs, lizards, and insects including a pest known as the migratory
locust. Studies on captive animals suggest that V. zerda
may be able to survive without free water for an indefinite
period of time.
As many as 10 individuals may live in a group, with males
becoming highly aggressive during the mating season. The males'
territory is marked with urine. He will stay with his mate
after she has given birth, and defend the nest site, but does
not enter the maternal den. Litters are produced yearly, but
if the first is lost, another may be produced in 2.5 to 3
months. Gestation lasts 50-52 days and litters average 2-5
offspring. The babies are weaned at 61-70 days and become
sexually mature at 11 months.
of aggressive hunting practices in the Sahara, V. zerda
is listed on Appendix 2 of the CITES.
V. zerda is found in Chad, Egypt, Kuwait, Libya, Mali,
Mauritania, Niger, Saudia Arabia, Sudan and Tunisia.