General Information
about foxes
This text was mainly computer-translated so don't expect a good english.
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Sub-Phylum:  Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Vulpes/Alopex/...
Species: Vulpes Vulpes,... 
Their head is very pointed-snouted, body extended, short and thin legs, tail almost half of body-lenght, fluffy. With sharp and standing ears, 5 toes on the front-paws and 4 on the rear-ones.
3 1 4 2
----------- = 42
3 1 4 3
Canines thin.
Habitat Eurasia, Africa, North and South America, Australia, northern polar region (so nearly the whole world, only excluding the southern polar region but he's working on it :) ).
There are many sub-/species of fox, most of them on both American continents. Scientists are allways debating about how many are there because there is a very high bandwith of variations; so there may even in one litter be black, silver or cubs in stribes.
Their great success may be traced back to their unbelievable abilty to adapt their behavior. You can find them in the middle of the most deadly deserts and on the highest mountians, at the most quiet place of earth (polar teritories) and in a back room of your local shoping mall (as happened in London).
In free only the swift fox is endangered. They are intensively hunted as rabies-transmitters (Well, every investigation has shown that non-extensive hunting has never decreased the amounth of foxes or rabies in a teritory but just decreased the averade age.) and as game in Europe (excpecially Great Britian).
There are political movements to ban hunting in many european countries such as Holland, Norwegian and Great Britian.
Ice-foxes are hunted for fur.
Ice-foxes and color-mutants of the Red Fox (Silver-Fox,Platin Fox) are breed in huge numbers in fur-farms.
They live a solitairy life (seldomly in pairs for their whole life) and normaly just come together for a while in the mating period.
Like many other creatures of the wood (well, not only of the wood) their territories have periodically inspected runs for having not that a hard job in moving around or fleeing.
Dens, resting-, sleeping- and birthplaces are in rock-cliffs or under stones (Ice-, Kamafox), in the dens of other animals (Corsac e.g. in Bobak-dens) self-expanded or enlarged dens of other animals (e.g. Red-Fox in badger- and rabit-dens, Kit-Fox in silver-badger and prairie dog dens) or self-dug dens. Prefering loose, sandy earth (Ice-, Red-, Kit-Fox), in sand dunes, gladly on hills or in slopes, but not in dense slopes or dense timber forest. They're often useing a den for multiple generations; Ice-, Red- and Kit-Foxes dig a new cave for every litter, therefore complex dens with up to 15 exits are build. In outlying districts of such dens "truce" with cospecifics (Ice- and Red-Foxes) or other animal species (for Red-Foxes especially badgers, poss. also wildcats, otter, rabbits or hares and in the dunes, goose). Within the territory there are also emergency- and evasiveness- dens into which cubs are transported during faults. Before entrances you can often find spaces for sunning.
The dog Foxes take part in raising the cubs more of less. Masculine Ice Foxes and Corsacs guard the building, divert enemies to itself and from the building with barking and hunt. Suckling Red Fox females are supplied by their dog Foxes, but they carry the food not to the building but give it to the vixens a bit away. They assist later to supply the young ones and guide them in the first weeks of getting independant. If the female gets lost , the older cubs, who are already able to take solid food, will be raised by the dog Fox. The Cubs are mostly independant before the beginning of autumn.

Walking Locomotion by a saunter troting. With the so-called (German) "Schnüren" all feet are set exactly in front of each other. A Trace of paw-prints seems to be put up as on an even band. When being on the flight Foxes are using a fast Gallop, Kit Foxes may even zigzag. All of them can swimm, Corsacs and species living in the virgin-forest are often seen climbing trees.

Communication They communicate by howling, search- and abandonment barking, yapping, snarling, whimpering. Foxes have up to 40 different sounds availiable for communication.
They've a skunk-like smell, known as "foxy". During courtship, vixen and dog mark their teritory with it.
Foxes have multiple scent glands, f.a. one near their anus and one on their tail, (like many other canids, in the case of foxes known as viole), "but the significance it plays communication is unknown" (Lloyd 1980; Henry 1986).

Hearing, smelling are excellent. And they can run up to 72Kmh(=45mph) (according to Milton Hildebrand) (30 mph according to Nowak (1991)) (Gray fox 28 mph for short distances) which is only a little slower than a cheetah and makes them one of the fastest mamals and he's able to jump over barriers 6½ feet high (Nowak)

Hunting When being alone they hunt by creeping and short assault or waylaying. Little mamals are pressed to the ground using the forepaws and killed by a following bite. Red Foxes do(often doubted) play dead for lureing birds and catch them. Mostly they go to a medow for hunting and try to find mices with their excelent smelling and hearing. Thats why hunters try to allure foxes by imitating the sound of a mouse (Well, at first you have to be good because he knows exactly how a mouse sounds and second he's mostly clever enough not to show up directly in front of you.).
Being hunted doesn't affect a stable fox population at all. Neither the number of foxes nor the spreading of diseases decrase. The foxes react to the drop in population (or indirect to the raise of food-availability) with a growing litter-size. The only effect of non-extensive hunting that could be proved was a drop in the avarage age.

Nutrition Except of carrion and drops (exspecially Red Foxes at outskirts of a town or Ice Foxes near to human settlements or expedition-camps) animals of every sort from beetle- to amply rabbit-size , worms, snails, fish, frogs, lizards, eggs, jung and developed birds, including e.g. ducks, pheasants, suckle, even developed weakned deers (quite unusual but it happenes) make up a quite big list of availiable food. His main nutrition is made up by small mamals, e.g. for Red Foxes rats, mice, especially voles, for Ice Foxes lemmings, for Kit Foxes grasshoppers, for the Kama Fox running-mice. In addition, vegetable food, especially grapes. If times are hard a fox may completely life of berries and fruits, but he'll always try not to ;) .
Foxes do scavange and they have little fear marching directly into a town (Which doesn't mean that they have no fear to meet a human or dog.). Well, they are clever enough to steal a dog's food from 'under his nose' and get every food laid out for them or others. Or is there a difference for a fox between a piece of meet and a piece of meet? This is of course only for wild foxes
He will allways try to take away his prey in order to eat at a secure place and if it's 'more than he can chew' he will cache the food for later.
Dayly amounth of vitamines needed (may vary, quite old source but believable):

A 5000IE
B1 2mg
B2 2mg
B6 2mg
Panthothenacid 2mg
Boitin 0,3mg
Folacid 2mg
B12 2mg
C ------
D 500IE
E 15IE
K -------
Less than 50 calories can be fed to wild foxes without changing their hunting-behavior (aprox. 600 cal are needed to survive the day(David Macdonald)).

Tumbnail of a series of photos.There where Pictures of foxes playing dead in order to hunt crows in old animal-books of the 12th centuary. The people thought it was a kind of fairy tail untill these pictures where made by a photographer from russia in 1961.

This is what a standart fox-compound looks like: similar to jackals. accommodation: as spacious as possible, in small compounds: concrete-ground which can be squirtled daily (they smell only if keeped in (too) small cages like in (fur-)farms; normally the're very clean). In systems in which one pair is kept the Ground should have measures of min. 4,5 x 4,5 meters with hidden quiet huts for hiding; also a sand-coated mould would do good. Also in bear-systems with hiding places that are not accessible for the bears.(f.a. Tama-Zoo Japan,Tokio Jap. Brown-bears (Ursus arctos lasiotus) and jap. Red Foxes (V.v.japonica))
I myself don't think of this as fitting the needs of a fox. He walks up to 70Km/day so a fenced part of wood would be better than such a little cage. Digging or enlargening his dens would (too) be quite difficult on concrete ground. If he starts to climb (and he isn't a gray fox or one of the S.American ones) it is considert to be a sign of bad keeping conditions (as walking round and round like Rilke's Panter).
To give him living mices or a grashooper would be an improvement too.

Temperature: Red Foxes, related Asiatic species, Kit-, Ice and Corsac Foxes are winterproof. Kama-Foxes and related African species may be kept warmly in winter. Ice-Foxes are sensitive to heat (between July & August there are frequent death-cases)

fur farms: In fur farms they are kept in small string cages with a wooden sleep box and wire ground (cheap cleaning, little fur soiling). It's dificult for the animals to walk on the wire-ground ( They often get brine- and toe inflammation as well as insufficient claw wear).

For breading they are (how else) kept in pairs. In big systems, that are just for showing, it's possible to keep them in groups as long as a secure hiding-place for every animal is available. Group keeping like wolves. Seldom Complications. The necesary security equals that for jackals and wolves.

Feeding: Like jackals, more flesh, Ice Foxes fish too. Food per day: In the summer and fall 500-600 gramm, in the winter a bit less. For farm Foxes similar to farm minks Vitamin B1 deficiency (symptom/illness) after too much feeding with fish.

reproduction and breeding: They mate like wolves and jackals and have to be care for like for jackals. More in the "reproduction" section for each species. The breeding in groups is often unsuccessful. The dog fox may remain with the female; he involves himself in rearing, through guarding, defense and later through feeding.
In the wild (at least in european red fox populations) it has often been reported that female yearlings
do also help what gives them more experience than the ones who left the year before.
Breeding was (up to now) only in the case of Fennecs, Ice-, Corsac- and Red Foxes successful; it seldomly succeeded with Kit-Foxes. (May have changed, at least there is a quite successful bread with swift-foxes in Chochrane Canada)
Ice-Foxes mostly have a big litter size but a high cub mortality. The dug strip swells before birth. Ice- and Corsac Foxes 8, Red Fox and residual 6 teats. Birth weight 80-150 g (Red Fox) Childs are blind, skin is briefly, fluffily, mostly gray-brown. Red Foxes with yellow-white forehead bandage, throatspot and tailend white. Recolored in 4 weeks. Eye opening at 12th to 14th day, first solid food (broken out nutrition digested by parents) and breakdown of the canine teeth with 15-20 days. Young ones leave the den with 4 weeks the first time for short time, follow the mother with 1,5 - 2 Monat regularly. May Remain with the mother till shortly before the next rut time, however they are mostly gone with 3-4 months.

synthetic rearing Like wolves, not always successful. bottlefeed cubs are very tame and faithful, also less often biting than adults or wolves. House broken. They only become smelling in too small preserves --> excrements).

Aldest age in human care: Ice-Foxes 14, Red Foxes nearly 12 Kit-Foxes almost 13 years. Gray-Foxes 11 years.

-Bahavior: Gestures:

-mostly like dogs or wolfes (but less amouth of social behavior)
-if he leans his(/her) ears on their head, duck, show their teeth and give a cracking sound = let him his peace, he's angry.

-name in other languages:

Fuchs (German)
Renard (French)
Volpe (Italian)
Zorro (Spanish)
Rav (Swedish)
Chu la (Native American, Choctaw Tribe)
I na li (Native American, Cherokee Tribe -= means 'Black Fox')
Kitsune (Japanese) (normaly vulpes vulpes japonica)
Kiwaku ( Native American, Pawnee Tribe - = 'White Fox')
Lis (Polish)
Lishka (Czech)
(russian = meand red fox)
[Pesetz] (russian = meand red fox)
Krestovatiki, Nedopesiki (russian)
Sionnach (Gaelic)
Ti li pe (Nez Perce Tribe, Native American)
Tod (British) (dog foxes are also called Tod(d)s)
To ka la luta ( Native American, Dakota Tribe = 'Red Fox')
Toka no ( Native American, Assiniboin Tribe = 'Gray Fox')
Tso la ( Native American, Creek Tribe)
Wa ko ( Native American, Menomi Tribe = means 'Red Fox')
Wokwses ( Native American, Abenaki Tribe)