Red Fox

Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) live in many national parks across the country.

two foxes, one laying down and the other sniffing at some gravel
Two red foxes

NPS Photo / Kent Miller

The red fox is abundant, widely distributed over the United States. Relatively speaking, foxes can often be seen in national parks where they live.

Color phases other than red occur, sometimes even in the same litters. While the most common color is red, red fox can be black, silver or a cross between red and silver, known as "cross fox". A prominent white-tipped tail is a distinguishing feature for all color phases.

Red foxes hunt by smell, sight, and sound. They have excellent eyesight, a keen sense of smell and acute hearing. Sometimes they wait patiently for the sound of a mouse moving along its path in grass or snow and then pounce; at other times, hearing movement underground, they dig quickly and locate the prey by its scent.


a black and red fox carrying a gray colored squirrel in its mouth
A cross fox carrying off an arctic ground squirrel

NPS Photo / Kent Miller

Red Foxes in Alaska

Foxes are found throughout Alaska.

Underground dens are used for the rearing of pups. Dens may be found in the open, in forest, on slopes, or on flat terrain. Most are dug into the soil and may have several entrances. Red fox pups are born in the early part of May. They spend most of the summer in or near the den where they are provided food by the parents.

Small mammals including voles, mice, lemmings, arctic ground squirrels, and hares make up the bulk of the diet for most of the year. Red fox eat berries, especially blueberries and crowberries when they become available in July and sometimes through the winter if other foods are not readily available.

Denali National Park & Preserve, Gates Of The Arctic National Park & Preserve, Kobuk Valley National Park, Noatak National Preserve, Wrangell - St Elias National Park & Preserve, Yukon - Charley Rivers National Preserve more »

Last updated: October 26, 2021