The Corsac Fox at the Paris Zoo is rarely seen because it is nocturnal – active at night and sleeping during the day. Fortunately, I got a glimpse of the Corsac Fox.
The Corsac Fox (Vulpes corsac) is a medium-sized mammal in the Canidae family of carnivorous dogs, wolves, foxes, and jackals. It is also known as the Steppe Fox and the Sand Fox.
The Corsac Fox has yellowish-brown fur with paler underparts. It has pale markings on its mouth, chin, and throat. It has pointed ears with excellent hearing and small eyes with excellent vision. It has small teeth. Its feet have sharp claws.
It grows to 45-65 centimetres (18-26 inches) in length. Its tail is 19-35 centimetres (7-14 inches) long.
The Corsac Fox is native to central Asia, from Mongolia to north-eastern China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. It prefers open steppes, semi-deserts, and deserts. Unlike other foxes, the Corsac Fox stays away from humans.
It is nomadic, moving constantly to search for food. It is carnivorous, feeding on voles, mice, gerbils, jerboas, hamsters, squirrels, rabbits, and hares. It often buries its prey in caches, to eat later. Sometimes it eats fruit and vegetation. Its predators include wolves, eagles, buzzards, and eagle-owls.
It is an excellent climber, but not a fast runner. Sometimes it forms a pack, but mostly it is solitary. It lives in shallow burrows underground, about one metre (3 feet) deep.
It mates for life. The female makes a nest, but when the pups are born, she moves them to the burrow. She has 2-6 live young, after a pregnancy of 52-60 days. The pups are precocial, because they are born with fur, but their eyes are closed. They open their eyes at around 14 days after birth.
The average lifespan of the Corsac Fox is 9 years.
Location of photographs: Paris Zoo, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM