RED FOX

The Italian continental fox is a canidae with short limbs, height at the wither less than 45 cm, oval pupils; the tail is more than half the length of the body. The color of the coat is reddish while the throat, belly and tip of the long bushy tail are white.  The snout is elongated and the ears are triangular and highly mobile.

Red foxes usually live in pairs with their young, although it is possible to observe specimens that are either solitary to live in groups of 4 or 6 adults.  The same pair tends to reunite every year and the male is usually actively involved in the care and rearing of offspring, providing food and defending kits from potential predators. Mating occurs during the winter and birthing takes place between March and April.  After a seven-week gestation period, females give birth in a den to 3 to 5 kits that are nursed for a month.

Foxes are territorial animals (males mark their territory with urine in a systematic way); mated pairs defend their territory during the winter and individually during the summer.  A territory can extend up to 50 km² in the mountain areas where food is scarce, while it reduces drastically (even down to 12 km²) in areas where food is plentiful.

Foxes are omnivorous (although they are classified as carnivorous), and very opportunistic. They are able to hunt prey of different sizes and their diet is based on a wide variety of species: invertebrates, small animals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles.  They also relish fruit and vegetables,  particularly berries,  but can feed on carrion and any other edible food they can find as well.

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