Gray Fox vs Red Fox

Last fall I had heard that the DNR is looking for reports of Gray Fox. I never knew there was another species of Fox in Minnesota.

The Red Fox can occur in different color phases, or mutations, some Red Fox are gray and silver – but they’re known as a Silver Fox or a “Cross” Fox.

The DNR is interested in the Gray Fox as they are a species that is expanding their range to the north. They don’t know why, but one reason may be due to climate change.

Gray Fox in trail cam

Gray Fox in trail cam

The other night I captured this image on my trail cam. I thought the Fox looked a little small and I wondered if it might be a Gray Fox.

Gray Fox's black tail

Gray Fox's black tail

One of the identifying marks of a http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/mammals/grayfox.html Gray Fox  is the black tail. This Fox does have that. A Gray Fox is also a bit smaller and they are supposed to be more ‘cat-like’. I guess one of the traits that they have is an opposing thumb – or their dew clay is such that they have the ability to climb trees, like a cat and unlike a Red Fox.

Red Fox

Red Fox

 Another image on the web cam showed a regular Red Fox: notice the white tipped tail. This Fox also looks bigger to me than the other Fox.

Red Fox marking

Red Fox marking

Another shot of the Red Fox, notice the black legs.
Gray Fox

Gray Fox

The Gray Fox also has different markings on its’ face. They must be very nocturnal, because the trail cam hasn’t taken any daytime pictures of this Fox.
 
 
 

 

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