How Long Do Foxes Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 3 To 4 Years

Foxes are omnivorous animals found in almost every continent except Antarctica. These animals are generally considered naughty and nuisance-creating animals, however, if trained, they can turn out as great pets.

There are many species of foxes that are less wild and highly adaptable to the human environment and quite advanced at learning human behavior as well. Such foxes are commonly known as “resident urban carnivores” and are generally kept as pets.

However, such urban foxes are considered threats to cats and small dogs, thus foxes are not a very good option to make them a part of urban human environments.

How Long Do Foxes Live?

Species Of FoxesLifespan
Red Fox2 to 5 years
Arctic Fox3 to 6 years
Fennec Fox4 to 7 years

Though generally lifespan of foxes range from 3 to 4 years, there are a few factors on which their lifespan depends such as where they live, food supply, environmental conditions, and the main factor, species of foxes. There are different lifespans of different species of foxes.

Red fox which is scientifically named Vulpes Vulpes is the one with the largest population among all other species. They live for a span ranging from 2 to 5 years. It is so because of their high and efficient adaptability features because of which they can adapt to any environmental conditions. If kept in captivity, these foxes can live up to 10 to 14 years.

Arctic fox, having the scientific name of Vulpes lag opus generally has a lifespan of 3 to 6 years. These foxes live in cold areas, likely poles. The reason why arctic foxes live that long is that since these foxes live in cold temperatures, they are adapted to such environments as they have thick skin, warm fur and they even have the ability to camouflage.

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Fennec fox which is scientifically known as Vulpes zerda generally lives in the desert regions. These foxes are normally found in abundance in the Sahara desert, Egypt, Arava, and Negev deserts. These foxes have the longest lifespan, that is, 4 to 7 years. When kept in captivity, these foxes can live up to 14 years and can live for as long as 10 years in the wild if they don’t face any environmental stress.

Why Do Foxes Live That Long?

The lifespan of foxes is generally not long. Almost 50% of the foxes fail to live for a span longer than that of 2 years. While, for the ones which cross the lifespan of 2 years, they further continue to live for 3 to 4 years.

The main reason why foxes fail to live more than 2 years is because of the fact that foxes are a part of the food chain at a very low level. That means, the animals which thrive upon other animals as food for their living, generally make foxes their prey. So, as a result, foxes fail to live long.

Moreover, there are other reasons also why foxes don’t live more than 2 years is because environmental stress, shortage of food, and other such reasons.

However, the foxes which succeed to live more than 2 years and then continue to live for a further couple of years, or to generally saying, adult foxes are called as clever foxes. It is so because these foxes have successfully overcome all the problems that foxes generally face in order to just survive.

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Unlike wild foxes, the foxes who live under captivation can live for as long as a span of 14 years. This is so because these foxes have no stress to survive, they don’t have to struggle for food or fight predators. Such foxes are provided food and a good environment, they are far away from predators and thus, they have a huge lifespan of 14 to 16 years.

Conclusion

Foxes are considered exotic pets and play a vital role biologically as well in maintaining an ecological balance. With great adaptability features, camouflage, and nocturnal abilities as well, these carnivorous animals are considered quite smart and clever.

However, these animals don’t have a long lifespan because of environmental stress, predators, shortage of food, and struggle to live in the wild. But when provided with all necessary conditions, that is to say, when these foxes live under captivity, they can literally live double of their normal lifespan.

References

  1. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/19601401369
  2. https://rcin.org.pl/ibs/dlibra/publication/edition/10198?id=10198
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