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Desert fox picture and information (Vulpes macrotis)


Desert fox picture and information (Vulpes macrotis)A small fox, akin to the kit fox or swift of the western plains, frequents the arid cactusgrown desert region of the Southwest. It is found from the southern parts of New Mexico, Arizona, and California south into the adjacent parts of Mexico.

The desert fox is a beautiful species, slender in form, and extraordinarily quick and graceful in its movements, but so generally nocturnal in habits as to be rarely seen by the desert traveler.

On the rare occasions when one is encountered abroad by day, if it thinks itself unobserved by the traveler it usually flattens itself on the ground beside any small object which breaks the surface, and thus obscured will permit a horseman to ride within a few rods without moving.

If the traveler indicates by any action that he has seen it, the fox darts away at extraordinary speed, running with a smooth, floating motion which seems as effortless as that of a drifting thistledown before a breeze.

The desert fox digs a burrow, with several entrances, in a small mound, or at times on an open flat, and there rears four or five young each year. Its main food consists of kangaroo rats, pocket mice, small ground-squirrels, and a variety of other small desert mammals. In early morning fox tracks, about the size of those of a house-cat, may be seen along sandy arroyos and similar places where these small carnivores have wandered in search of prey.

Like the kit, the desert fox has little of the sophisticated mental ability of the red fox and falls an easy prey to the trapper. It is no­where numerous and occupies such a thinly inhabited region that there is little danger of its numbers greatly decreasing in the near future.