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Cape Fox[1]
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Vulpes
Species: V. chama
Binomial name
Vulpes chama
(A Smith, 1833)
Synonyms
  • caama (C. E. H. Smith, 1839)
  • hodsoni (Noack, 1910)
  • variegatoides (Layard, 1861)

The Cape Fox (Vulpes chama), also called the Cama Fox or the Silver-backed Fox, is a small fox.

It has black or silver gray fur with flanks and underside in light yellow. The tip of its tail is always black.

The Cape Fox tend to be 45 to 61 cm long, not including a 30 to 40 cm tail. It is 28 to 33 cm tall at the shoulder, and usually weighs from 3.6 to 5 kg.

Contents

Habitat

It inhabits mainly open country, from open grassland plains with scattered thickets to semi-desert scrub, and also extending into fynbos. It is widespread in Zimbabwe, Botswana, and South Africa, occurring in most parts of the Western and Northern Cape provinces, the Eastern Cape (excluding the south-eastern side) the Free State, western and north-western KwaZulu-Natal and the North-West province. It also occurs in Lesotho, a high mountainous region.

Behavior

It is mainly nocturnal. Its social system is not well understood but it would appear to be monogamous, like other canids.

Food

Like most foxes it is an omnivore, preferring small mammals, reptiles, and carrion, but will also eat insects and fruit.

Reproduction

The Cape Fox, unlike the Red Fox, mates the whole year. It gives birth after 51–53 days, in a usual litter-size of 3 to 6. They are weaned after 6–8 weeks and grown up in about one year. They have an average weight at birth of 50 to 100 grams (1.7 to 3.5 oz).

It reaches sexual maturity in nine months with an expected life span of 10 years.

References

  1. ^ Wozencraft, W. C. (16 November 2005). Wilson, D. E., and Reeder, D. M. (eds). ed. Mammal Species of the World (3rd edition ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. http://www.bucknell.edu/msw3/browse.asp?id=14000868.  
  2. ^ Stuart, C. & Stuart, T. (2008). Vulpes chama. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 09 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
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