Home Animals Foxes in Louisiana

Foxes in Louisiana

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arctic foxes sleeping

Foxes are a common sight in Louisiana, found all over the state both in rural and urban areas. These animals have adapted well to human expansion, taking advantage of open woodlands as well as fencerows and backyards. These clever animals hunt during the night, preying on birds, small mammals, insects, and even fruits. Furthermore, they are inquisitive creatures which gives them an opportunistic edge when it comes to finding food sources and oftentimes scavenging for scraps left behind by humans in rural areas or near campgrounds and cabins. Stay tuned to this article to know about different species of foxes in Louisiana 

Types of Foxes in Louisiana 

There are four species of foxes in Louisiana state: Gray Foxes, Red Foxes, Swift Foxes, and Arctic Foxes. Gray Foxes are the most common. Red Foxes prefer grasslands and open spaces while Scanner’s Swift fox prefers drier desert habitats. Lastly, the Arctic fox is rarely seen due to its preference for cold climates which can occasionally be spotted south of the Canadian border in parts of extreme North Louisiana during colder months. 

Gray Foxes

foxes in louisiana 

Grey foxes in Louisiana inhabit a variety of habitats such as swamps and lightly forested areas, which is useful for them as they typically hunt at dawn or dusk. The average lifespan of this fox ranges from 2-4 years in the wild due to the fierce competition for their preferred prey, rodents and rabbits.

With a remarkable ability to climb trees, these small canids have sharp claws in order to grip onto bark and limbs. They also possess sharp teeth that are ideal for eating their carnivorous diet. Fur colour ranges from greyish-brown mixed with white or black depending on its habitat; on average they measure 47 – 53cm long with a shoulder height of 24 cm and weigh around 5 – 7 kg. 

Potential predators of the Gray Fox include wolves, hawks, eagles and humans while they can reproduce twice yearly with between one to seven pups per litter. 

Interesting fact:  Gray Fox is that it’s the only American canid that climbs trees.

Red foxes 

red fox

Red foxes in Louisiana typically inhabit wooded areas and thickets but will also thrive in semi-deserts, pastures, orchards and human settlements. These foxes can live up to 10 years in the wild and measure up to 2 feet in length with a weight of 4-15 pounds.

Colouring is typically reddish-brown interspersed with grey, white and black fur over their body. Preferred prey species for red foxes include voles, hares, mice and ground-nesting birds but they are known for being opportunistic omnivores so they will hunt other animals such as rabbits, lizards and frogs if available. 

The most serious predators that pose a threat to adult red foxes are eagles or other large birds of prey as well as coyotes and dogs. Fox pups however may be vulnerable to bobcats or bears. During breeding season female red foxes give birth to litters of 1-13 cubs (which are born blind) and when old enough the cubs will leave the den with their mother in search of food.

Interesting fact:  Louisiana red fox’s adaptive nature allows them to effectively coexist with humans often making use of open areas like cemeteries for shelter

Swift Foxes

swift foxes

Swift Foxes in Louisiana are charming and elusive and boast a mottled coat of sandy-brown or grey fur with white patches, varying in size and shape. These small foxes typically reach a weight of 2 – 4 kg and are about 56 – 66 cm long. 

They inhabit the Plains states spanning from Montana to Oklahoma and the western parts of Texas, with Louisiana being the easternmost region for this species. 

Their diet includes mealworms, beetles, grasshoppers, mice, voles and even ground squirrels; they also consume a variety of fruits and plants as part of their balanced diet.

When it comes to predators, they face significant threats from coyotes, bobcats and domestic dogs as well as humans. Swift Fox reproduction occurs mainly in the late winter months when their goal is to have pups by early spring to ensure optimal conditions for raising young before summer droughts set in.

Interesting fact: Swift Fox relies on dens made by badgers or other animals more than constructing their own burrows!

Arctic Foxes

arctic foxes

Arctic foxes in Louisiana may not be commonly associated with it but they are actually native to the state. It is rare to spot one in this region as they prefer icy climates and tunnels made of ice or snow as their preferred habitat. In terms of size, Arctic foxes range from 18-24 inches measured from head to tail and have a weight between 2.5 – 9 lbs. 

Regarding colour, Arctic foxes tend to show two distinctively different coats. White during the winter season and greyish brown during the summer months.

Their diets consist mainly of voles and other small rodents supplemented by fish, bird’s eggs, and carcasses that they scavenge on in the wild. 

When it comes to predators, wolves are their main threat since the arctic fox can’t compete with them for food or territory. In terms of reproduction, Arctic foxes highly mate for life, raising up to 12-15 young during each breeding season.

Interesting fact: When their feet are cold in winter temperatures their fur actually changes colour instantly turning white as camouflage.

Killing Of Foxes in Louisiana

Louisiana has faced an age-old problem with the growing fox population. With their voracious appetites, foxes in Louisiana often deplete the local wildlife in the area, endangering both animals and humans. In order to prevent this from becoming a larger problem, Louisiana has adopted a measure of killing foxes in order to limit their numbers. Although this may seem cruel, it is necessary to protect the ecosystem of Louisiana and keep its people safe from harm.

Fox killing is a controversial topic in Louisiana, as it has not been officially declared legal or illegal for recreational hunters. The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries currently uses fox trapping as part of their research projects to monitor populations, so it appears that trapping for research purposes is the only legal activity involving foxes. Hunting advocates are pushing for stricter regulations on recreational fox hunting, but many conservationists feel that even regulated hunting could compromise the existing population numbers and endanger the species long term.

References:

https://nwco.net/states/states-i-m/louisiana/louisiana-wildlife-species/foxes/
https://www.louisianafur.com/redfox.html
https://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=9243&context=gradschool_dissthes
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Author Profile
Jeevan Kodiyan
Zoologist | Wildlife Conservation at Animals Research

An animal enthusiast with an interest in zoology, studying the behavior and activities of animals in the wild habitat. I work on research projects related to species conservation and endangered species protection. I also leverage zoology to become an educator, educating others about the importance of protecting our natural environment and the beauty of animals in their natural habitats.

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