Fun Swift Fox Facts For Kids

Aashita Dhingra
Jan 10, 2023 By Aashita Dhingra
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel
Read these Swift Fox facts to learn more about this fox.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.1 Min

The Swift Fox, Vulpes velox as it is scientifically known, belongs to the Canidae family. The Vulpes velox is native to the Great Plains region of North America and is found in Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

The Swift Fox habitat includes short-grass prairies and western Grasslands. The Swift Fox make dens in sandy soils in open fields and along fences.

The Swift Fox is an omnivore and tends to prey on small animals like ground squirrels, lizards, rabbits, mice, and prairie dogs. They also eat fruits.

A Swift Fox can be easily recognized by its small size, large ears, and its grassland habitat in which it is found.

This fox is one of the fastest foxes found in North America and is known to run at a speed of about 37 mph (60 kph). With the breeders and wildlife programs across America, scientists were able to reintroduce this species of fox back to the wild.

Most of the foxes mate with one partner for life, though there have been some who breed with multiple partners. The breeding season differs according to the region, for instance, the breeding season begins in December in the Southern United States.

The conservation status of these foxes is now Least Concern. Swift Foxes make up for quite a fascinating species to learn about, so read on for interesting facts about the Swift Fox.

If you are interested, read about the gray fox and bat-eared fox too.

Swift Fox Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Swift Fox?

The Swift Fox is a type of fox.

What class of animal does a Swift Fox belong to?

The Swift Fox belongs to the class of mammals.

How many Swift Foxes are there in the world?

There has been no specific number of Swift Foxes in the world recorded. Currently, approximately 350 individuals have been recorded/located in Southwest Saskatchewan and Southeast Alberta, Canada.  

Where does a Swift Fox live?

Swift Foxes live in short-grass prairies and deserts.

What is a Swift Fox's habitat?

The Swift Foxes live in short-grass prairies and western grasslands. These foxes tend to make their dens in sandy soil in open prairies, in fields, or along fences. The Swift Fox is native to the Great Plains regions of North America.

Who do Swift Foxes live with?

Swift Foxes tend to live in pairs of their kind.

How long does a Swift Fox live?

A Swift Fox tends to live for about three to six years in the wild, whereas in captivity they are known to live for about 14 years.

How do they reproduce?

Swift Foxes are generally considered to be monogamous, but multiple breeding strategies have been observed. The breeding season varies with regions.

In the southern United States, mating happens between December and February, and the pups are born around March and April, whereas in Canada, the mating happens around March and the pups are born in May. The male Swift Fox may start breeding when they are one year old while the females start when they reach two years.

These foxes live in pairs and mate for life, while some of them chose other partners.

The gestation period lasts for about 51 days and five to six pups are born. These pups are born in the den and live there for about a month and are dependent on their mother.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the Swift Fox is Least Concern. In Canada, the Swift Fox population were hunted to extinction but have been reintroduced thanks to conservation efforts.

Swift Fox Fun Facts

What do Swift Foxes look like?

The Swift Fox is usually dark, grayish, and tan color, while it has a yellowish tan along the sides and legs. The other body parts such as throat, chest, and belly are pale yellow to white in color.

The tail is black-tipped and it has black patches on its muzzles. It has comparatively large ears. The weight ranges from 5-7 lb (2.26-3.17 kg) and males and females differ in terms that males are slightly larger than females.

Swift Fox walking in meadow

How cute are they?

These foxes are considered adorable because of their interesting characteristics such as charm and intelligence.

How do they communicate?

A long-range barking or vocalization has been observed among these Swift Foxes. It is also known as a  or territorial call.

How big is a Swift Fox?

The fox is about 12 in (305 mm) in height and 32 in (787 mm) long. A Swift Fox is similar to the size of a domestic cat.

How fast can a Swift Fox run?

The Swift Fox is one of the fastest animals in the region of North America. It can run up to a speed of 37 mph (60 kph).

How much does a Swift Fox weigh?

The weight ranges from 5-7 lb (2.26-3.17 kg) and the average weight of this fox is 4.7 lb (2.1 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

A female swift fox is known as a vixen and the male is known as reynard.

What would you call a baby Swift Fox?

A baby Swift Fox is called a pup.

What do they eat?

The Swift Fox is an omnivore and thus, they eat small mammals such as rabbits, ground squirrels, mice, birds, lizards, and insects, and prairie dogs. They also feed on grass and fruits.  

Are they dangerous?

Generally, the Swift Fox is not considered harmful or dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

As these species are small ones, it is rare to find these species as pets. Though, it is thought that these species will make good pets as they have a loving temperament and they are considered to be less noisy and energetic than other foxes.

It is also believed that this species is easier to train than the others. Their feeding habits are also easy to manage.

Did you know...

Here are some great Swift Fox facts for kids:

Swift Foxes are active at night or during the early hours of dusk.

The Swift Fox is a close relative of the kit fox. These two species are sometimes considered as one and there have been hybrids recorded of the species.

The Swift Fox species was hunted to extinction in Canada.

The Swift Fox's pup, when born has its eyes and ears closed for 15 days and thus, the pups are dependent on their mother.

Predators of the Swift Fox include bobcat, badgers, golden eagle, and sometimes the coyote.

After dens, the Swift Fox is dependent on North American canids for shelters and to hide from predators.

Swift Foxes have shown the ability to coexist friendly with humans in a native landscape where land is used for livestock production on native prairie.

Why is the Swift Fox endangered?

While now due to reintroduction, the status of the Swift Fox is Least Concern, at some point, these were an endangered species. The reasons for this fox being an endangered species include the loss of habitat due to the farming of crops by prairie farmers.

Lack of predator control led to the predators of the Swift Fox like bobcats, badgers, eagles, and coyotes killing a large number of Swift Foxes. Many programs that try to kill coyotes and ground squirrels and wolves, accidentally shot, trapped, or poisoned the Swift Foxes.

Climate change has also led to this species becoming endangered. Dry summers and cold winters with excessive snow lead to the reduction of the number of prey that a Swift Fox can hunt, which in turn led to the death of these foxes due to starvation.

Why are Swift Foxes important?

Swift Foxes are also known to be of ecological importance as the Swift Fox are omnivores and prey on small mammals and animals like rabbits and rodents and keep their population in control. They also tend to disperse seeds as they also eat fruits.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including fox terrier, or fennec fox.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Swift Fox coloring pages.

Swift Fox Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Birds, reptiles, fish, insects, and amphibians

What Type of Animal were they?

Omnivores

Average Litter Size?

5-6

How Much Did They Weigh?

4.7 lb (2.1 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

western grasslands and short-grass prairies

Where Do They Live?

north america

How Long Were They?

32 in (787 mm)

How Tall Were They?

12 in (305 mm)

Class

Mammal

Genus

Vulpes

Family

Canidae

Scientific Name

Vulpes velox

What Do They Look Like?

Dark, grayish, and tan

Skin Type

Hairy, fur

What Are Their Main Threats?

habitat loss

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern

north america

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Written by Aashita Dhingra

Bachelors in Business Administration

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Aashita DhingraBachelors in Business Administration

Based in Lucknow, India, Aashita is a skilled content creator with experience crafting study guides for high school-aged kids. Her education includes a degree in Business Administration from St. Mary's Convent Inter College, which she leverages to bring a unique perspective to her work. Aashita's passion for writing and education is evident in her ability to craft engaging content.

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Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel

Bachelor of Business Management

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Yashvee PatelBachelor of Business Management

Yashvee has won awards for both her writing and badminton skills. She holds a business administration honors degree and has previously interned with social media clients and worked on content for an international student festival. Yashvee has excelled in academic competitions, ranking in the top 100 in the Unified International English Olympiad and placing second in an essay-writing competition. Additionally, she has won the inter-school singles badminton title for two consecutive years.

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