Swift Fox

Photo by Bob Gress

Common Name: Swift Fox

Scientific Name: Vulpes velox

Total Length: 31-33 inches

Tail Length: 10.8-11.2 inches

Weight: 5.1-5.3 pounds


Comments: Swift foxes are the smallest member of the dog family in North America. Adults weigh less than typical house cats. Resembling small coyotes, they have a slender body, long, pointed ears and a bushy tail with a black tip. Swift foxes live in underground dens with several tunnels, rooms, and entrances. Separate chambers are used for sleeping and storing food. Hunting usually occurs at night. Litters of 3-6 pups are born in late winter and early spring. They may live 5 years in the wild. Their most notorious predators are coyotes.

Distribution: Swift foxes are found in arid and semi-arid regions from Mexico to southern Canada. They are found in the shortgrass prairies and rangelands in the western third of Kansas.

Food: They feed on rabbits, hares, mice, rats, ground squirrels, insects, birds, and small reptiles.