Cape Fox - Vulpes chama

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Wild Dog - Lycaon Pictus | Cape Fox - Vulpes chama | Black-backed Jackal - Canis mesomelas | Bat-eared Fox - Otocyon megalotis | Side-striped Jackal - Canis adustus


Afrikaans Silvervos Tswana Lesie

F 5cm
H 4cm


contains insect exoskeletons

Visible Male/Female Differences

Males are slightly bigger than females.

Habitat and Distribution

Semi-arid open grassland, light woodland and Karoo scrub.


Rodents, hares, insects, carrion and birds. It occasionally kills lambs under four days old. Frequently eats small quantities of grass to aid digestion.


Litters of up to six (usually three) are born in August-October after a gestation of 50 days. Cubs begin foraging with the mother at 16 weeks, and are independent at 21 weeks. In stock farming areas blanket predator control is probably the main cause of death.

Behavior and Habits

Mainly active at night but can be seen at dens very early in the morning. Cape foxes shelter in dense cover and in rock crevices or holes. They lives in mated pairs but forage alone. Several may be seen together where there is a lot of food.  The female stays at the den if there are and the male brings her food. Home ranges varies with locality and habitat but typically 100-460 ha . Living areas are marked with urine.


A high-pitched howl which is answered by the mate with a bark. The bark is also used as an alarm call.

Dung and Field sign

Droppings are long (9cm) thin sausages with tapered ends often containing insect exoskeletons. Punctures from the canine teeth are 14-16 mm apart.


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