Tibetan Sand Fox

The Tibetan sand fox is an unusual looking species of fox, native to Ladakh plateau, Tibetan plateau, Sikkim, and Bhutan. IUCN declared this species as the “least concern” on account of its extensive range in the Tibetan plateau’s steppes and semi-desert.

They are often identified by their squarish face, which makes them look like some sort of cartoon fox. Keep on reading to know more about this Tibetan mammal.

Tibetan sand fox

Tibetan sand fox

Scientific Classification of Tibetan Sand Fox

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Canidae

Genus: Vulpes

Species: V. ferrilata

 

Physical Description of Tibetan Sand Fox

Tibetan foxes are small with the soft and dense coat covering their body. Their muzzles, back, neck, crown, and lower legs are tan to rufous colored. On the other hand, their cheeks, upper legs, rumps, and flanks are grey. Their tails have white tips. Tibetan foxes feature small eyes and ears.

Physical Description of Tibetan Sand Fox

Physical Description of Tibetan Sand Fox

Their ears are greyish tan on the back and white insides and undersides. Having a length of 60-70centimetres, adult foxes weigh 4-5 kg. The cranial region of Tibetan foxes is shorter than that of hill foxes.

Habitat of Tibetan Sand Fox

Tibetan foxes are primarily found in semi-arid to arid grasslands. They prefer staying away from humans and high vegetation cover. These foxes inhabit upland plains and hills from 3,500 to 5,200 meters elevation. But they are also seen in the lower ground as well.

Habitat of Tibetan Sand Fox

The habitat of Tibetan Sand Fox

Distribution of Tibetan Sand Fox

The Tibetan sand foxes are widely distributed throughout Tibetan plateau and the Ladakh plateau in Northern India.

Distribution of Tibetan Sand Fox

Distribution of Tibetan Sand Fox

They are also found in parts of Chinese provinces of Yunnan, Sichuan, Gansu, and Qinghai. You can also spot them in northern Bhutan, border regions of India and Nepal, and north of Himalayas. Their distribution range is quite wide.

Diet of Tibetan Sand Fox

Their primary prey is the plateau pika. They also feed on rodents, marmots, hares, lizards, and small ground birds. Tibetan foxes are daytime hunters as their main prey, pikas are diurnal. They use brown bears as minions and let them dig a pika out from small animal’s hole.

Diet of Tibetan Sand Fox

Diet of Tibetan Sand Fox

Behaviour of Tibetan Sand Fox

Here we have summed up some amazing behavioural traits of Tibetan sand fox. Take a look;

  • They are not commonly found around humans.
  • When hunting, they get really low to the ground.
  • Tibetan foxes are solitary creatures.
  • These foxes are seldom seen wasting their food.
  • When attacked, they come back to their dens.

Reproduction of Tibetan Sand Fox

Their breeding season starts in late February or early March. After having a gestation period of 50 to 60 days, they give birth to two to four pups in a den.

Reproduction of Tibetan Sand Fox

Reproduction of Tibetan Sand Fox

These pups stay with their parents until they are eight to ten months old. Their burrows are made at old beach lines, and low slopes. The dens have four entrances and each entrance is 25-35 cm in diameter.

Lifespan of Tibetan Sand Fox

The lifespan of these foxes has not been confirmed. As per the researchers, they can live for about 8 to 10 year in wild.

Predators of Tibetan Sand Fox

Their main predators are humans. They usually kill them for their fur.

 

Diseases of Tibetan Sand Fox

Tibetan foxes are highly infected with Echinococcus. Foxes in western Sichuan are hosts of alveolar hydatid disease.

Interesting Facts of Tibetan Sand Fox

  • Tibetan foxes are commonly popular as the sand fox.
  • The pups look really cute.
  • They stay away from humans.

Conservation Status of Tibetan Sand Fox

As per research, there are no major threats to Tibetan fox at present. IUCN declared this species as least concern.

Pictures of Tibetan Sand Fox

Reproduction of Tibetan Sand Fox

Diet of Tibetan Sand Fox

Diet of Tibetan Sand Fox

Habitat of Tibetan Sand Fox

Tibetan sand fox

Tibetan Sand Fox Video

References
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