Home Animals Foxes in Tennessee (Types, Habitat, Diet..)

Foxes in Tennessee (Types, Habitat, Diet..)

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fox in open

Foxes are majestic animals, one found throughout Tennessee. They belong to the canine family, and the two species of fox that call Tennessee home are the red fox and the grey fox. The red fox is an elusive creature known for its cunning and hunting prowess while the smaller grey fox prefers to be more reclusive and spends much of its time in trees. Foxes in Tennessee can be seen scurrying around in many areas during dusk and dawn, sometimes they might even make their appearance in populated areas.

foxes in tennessee

Are there Foxes in Tennessee

In Tennessee, foxes are fixtures of the state’s vast forests and woodlands. The two species of fox found in the area are red foxes and grey foxes. Red foxes, with their trademark reddish fur and white-tipped tails, can often be seen darting through fields and meadows in search of small rodents. Grey Foxes have a more muted colour palette, but they’re just as common throughout most of the state, except near the city centres. On top of being readily spotted in the wild, these animals can also be found on wildlife reserves and parks throughout Tennessee.

Types of  Foxes in Tennessee

There are 3 types of foxes in Tennessee

  • Red Fox 
  • Grey fox
  • Swift fox

The most common fox found in the state is the red fox, a species that lives throughout the northeastern and southeastern regions and is known for having a bushy tail with black fur tips. Another type of fox that inhabits Tennessee is the grey fox, an omnivore that blends well in its surroundings due to its melding of grey and rusty brown fur. The swift fox lives in parts of western Tennessee and has distinctive yellow-tipped ears making it unique from other types of foxes.

red fox

Habitat

Tennessee has some of the best habitats for foxes in the world, with a variety of terrains and climates throughout the state that provides the perfect home for a range of species. In fact, foxes can be found inhabiting almost all areas across Tennessee, from densely wooded forests to sparsely populated rural regions. Foxes also adapt well to living close to humans as it allows foxes to thrive in both urban and suburban landscapes. Foxes make use of open meadows, grasslands, fields and even lawns in order to hunt for small rodents, birds and other prey.

Diet

Foxes in the wild have incredibly varied and balanced diets, subsisting mostly on small mammals such as voles, rabbits, and moles. They also hunt birds, lizards, frogs, and fish; their diet during the winter changes to include more scavenged carrion or refuse sources.

They also have preferred diets of other small animals living in or near water sources or burrows, foxes enjoy fruits and vegetables like apples or raspberries. Foxes are also adept at being opportunistic feeders; they’ll quickly take advantage of any available food source they can find. Their omnivorous diet allows them to sustain themselves over a wide range of ecosystems while they search for prey that is not only nutrient-rich but also provides enough calories to maintain their metabolisms.

grey fox

Colour

Foxes in Tennessee are mostly rusty red or orange-red in colour but may range from shades of white and silver to almost black. Their fur is usually dense and quite soft, with guard hairs that protect the rest of their coat from the elements. It also provides insulation in cold climates. During the warmer months, their coat lightens for more efficient cooling when temperatures increase, allowing them to maintain their body heat during Tennessee’s hot summers.

Size, Lifespan and Weight 

Foxes are native to Tennessee, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They range in weight between four and thirteen pounds and have a lifespan of around three to five years. Knowing the size and weight of foxes that call Tennessee home can provide important clues when trying to identify them in the wild. Foxes found in this region typically have coats of brownish-red fur on their back, with white or light grey fur on their underbelly. They are often characterized by elongated snouts, pointed ears and fluffy tails. 

Predators

Foxes are skilful and resourceful hunters, but they too can be vulnerable in the wild. They face potential threats from a variety of predators, such as wolves, bobcats, bears, coyotes, cougars and hawks. Some of these animals will take advantage of a fox if it is alone or has been injured. Wolves may even form packs to hunt for larger prey like foxes. Even if foxes do escape the clutches of their pursuers, they could still fall victim to diseases that their predators spread in the environment.

fox baby

Reproduction

Reproduction among foxes in Tennessee is a fascinating process that continues throughout the year, with some variables due to the season. Male foxes normally fight for access to females during mating season, which typically begins in late winter and lasts through spring. During this period, female foxes prepare for their litters of four to six pups by finding and collecting material for dens, often back in hollow trees or dense undergrowth. When ready for birth, the female will spend considerable amounts of time at the den tending to her young until they are old enough to venture outside. Adolescents then leave the family group as males hunt solitarily while females may stick together well into adulthood.

Yes, they are legal to own in Tennessee.

What is a fact about red foxes in Tennessee?

Red foxes tend to prefer a diet of small mammals, such as rodents and rabbits, as well as fruits and other types of vegetation. However, when necessary they will also feed on carrion or eggs taken from nests. In addition to being resilient predators, red foxes are known for their vocalizations which include barks, screams and high-pitched chirps that can sometimes be heard during the night. 

What is the diet of grey foxes in Tennessee?

The diet of the grey fox in Tennessee consists mostly of small rodents, insects, and other small animals like rabbits. They have also been known to eat fallen fruit from trees, especially in areas near human settlements. As opportunistic omnivores, they often search for bird eggs and larger mammals like squirrels and raccoons as well.

References

https://www.tn.gov/twra/law-enforcement/permits/wildlife-permits.html

https://wildlifeinformer.com/foxes-in-tennessee/

https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/local/2017/11/20/should-felix-fennec-fox-allowed-inside-knox-county-parks/866986001/

https://nwco.net/states/states-q-z/tennessee/tennessee-wildlife-species/foxes/

https://www.animallaw.info/statute/tn-exotic-pet-part-4-exotic-animals

Author Profile
Zahra Makda
Wildlife Enthusiast | Explorer at Animals Research

Growing up enjoying the beauty of my village, a good passion for nature developed in me from childhood. Following my passion for the natural world, I have chosen zoology for my graduation, during my undergraduate degree, I participated in many nature trails, bird watching, rescues, training for wildlife conservation, workshop, and seminars on biodiversity. I have a keen interest in invertebrate biology, herpetology, and ornithology. Primary interests include studies on taxonomy, ecology, habitat and behavior.

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