The fox, which can be seen throughout Beyond as well as throughout Europe, is the smallest member of the dog family. It's also the most-abundant and most wide-spread carnivore in the world. The red fox is readily identifiable by its thick reddish fur and long bushy tail, and has an elongated narrow muzzle somewhat similar to a collie. The triangular, erect ears and feet are black and the tip of the tail is white.
Red foxes communicate with each other by leaving urine. If the urine smell is weak or moderate, another fox will understand that no food is available and will leave the area. If the urine smell is strong, the other fox will search that area for food.
35-40 cm high; 70-100 cm long, plus a 30-50 cm tail; 6-12 kg
Lives in forests with thick undergrowth or woods adjacent to fields, and likes humid areas near lakes or rivers. A fox pair have a territory of 3-8 sq km, and defend that territory from other foxes. Because foxes have such keen senses of sight, smell and hearing, they have adapted to living close to human habitation.
The foxes of the Maures and Esterel made the local news in Sept 2002, with a couple of minor biting cases in Saint Tropez. Area foxes, along with hares and rabbits, have been greatly reduced in recent years because of an illness. That particular sickness is completely unrelated to rabies, and there are no rabies in the area.
Eat rodents, especially field mice, rabbits, birds, invertebrates and fruit. In areas where red foxes have been eliminated, the rodent populations have expanded drastically. Foxes are solitary predators and do not hunt in packs like wolves.
Foxes mate during midwinter, and give birth to 4-7 pups after about 50-days gestation. The young foxes begin hunting on their own by the following summer, and become self-sufficient by autumn. By the beginning of the next winter, the young leave the territory to start their own homes.