Swift Fox (Vulpes velox)

Photograph of the Fox


Other Names
Kit Fox
The Swift Fox is about the size of a house cat and is the smallest of the American foxes. It has pale yellow fur with brownish ears and a fluffy tail with a black spot at the base of its tail and at the tip.
Life History
Swift Foxes are characteristically nocturnal animals, although they are sometimes active during the daytime as well. The leave their dens at night to hunt and rarely move far from their dens. They rely on speed and nearness to their dens for safety. Foxes from many different family groups may hunt in the same territory, but not necessarily at the same time.

Their diet is composed mainly of small mammals such as kangaroo rats, jackrabbits, cottontails, and rodents, but they will also eat insects, small birds, lizards, amphibians, and fish.

Swift Foxes pair up in the fall and have their litters in early spring. Most Swift Foxes have three to six babies in a litter.

Swift Foxes are not very suspicious of humans, so that they are easily trapped or poisoned. In areas where trappers are active or where poison is used to control predators, the foxes have been greatly reduced in number or entirely eliminated.
Swift Foxes typically live in the open desert or grasslands. They hunt in high, well-drained mesas, hilltops, along the borders of valleys, and sparsely vegetated hillsides and other well-drained areas. They have also adapted to cultivated and ranchlands.
Distribution of the Swift Fox in Texas is limited to the western 1/3 of the state.