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Urocyon cinereoargenteus

(Grey Fox)


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Interesting Facts

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Common Names

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Click on the language to view common names.

Common Names in Belarusian:

Шэрая лісіца

Common Names in Breton:

Louarn gris

Common Names in Bulgarian:

Сива лисица

Common Names in Catalan, Valencian:

Guineu grisa

Common Names in Chinese:


Common Names in Czech:

Liška šedá (šelma)

Common Names in Danish:


Common Names in Dutch:

Grijze vos

Common Names in English:

Grey Fox, common gray fox, gray fox, Tree Fox

Common Names in Finnish:


Common Names in French:

renard gris

Common Names in German:


Common Names in Hebrew (modern):

שועל אפור מצוי

Common Names in Hungarian:


Common Names in Icelandic:


Common Names in Japanese:


Common Names in Korean:


Common Names in Latvian:

Pelēkā lapsa

Common Names in Lithuanian:

Pilkoji lapė

Common Names in Navajo, Navaho:

Mąʼiiłtsooí łibáhígíí

Common Names in Norwegian:


Common Names in Polish:

Lis wirginijski

Common Names in Portuguese:

Raposa cinzenta

Common Names in Russian:

Серая лисица

Common Names in Spanish:

Gato Cervan, Gato De Monte, Zorra gris, Zorro, Zorro Gris, Zorro Plateado

Common Names in Spanish, Castilian:

Gato Cervan, Gato De Monte, Zorra gris, Zorro, Zorro Gris, Zorro Plateado

Common Names in Swedish:


Common Names in Turkish:

Boz tilki

Common Names in Ukrainian:

Справжня сіра лисиця


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Physical Description

Species Urocyon cinereoargenteus

A long, narrow muzzle is set off by the large triangular ears.


The short coarse fur is predominantly gray in color, with patches of reddish fur on the sides of the neck, flanks, legs , and underside of tail; undersides are buff in color. A black stripe runs along animal's back down to the tail tip, which is always black


Smaller than the Red Fox, adult Gray Foxes are 85 - 102 cm (33.5 - 40.2 in) in total length and weigh up to 4.8 kg (10.5 lbs ).


Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 2,716 meters (0 to 8,911 feet).[1]

Ecology: In eastern North America, the Grey Fox is most closely associated with deciduous/southern pine forests interspersed with some old fields and scrubby woodlands (Hall 1981). In western North America, it is commonly found in mixed agricultural/woodland/chaparral/riparian landscapes and shrub habitats . The species occupies forested areas and thick brush habitats in Central America and forested montane habitats in South America (Eisenberg 1989). Grey Foxes occur in semi-arid areas of the southwestern USA and northern Mexico where cover is sufficient. They appear to do well on the margins of some urban areas (Harrison 1997).[2].

List of Habitats:


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An omnivore . Feeds on birds, eggs , rabbits, rodents, squirrels, fruits, and nuts.


Breeding takes place from January - April. The female Gray Fox gives birth to 2 - 7 young about 53 days later. Pups stay with the parents until 3 months of age, when they become independent . Nearly all Gray Foxes breed within their first year. Gray Foxes make their dens in burrows, hollow logs , in cavities under rocks and logs, and even in abandoned buildings.

Both mother and father gray foxes raise the young, though the males be less active in this process .. They pass on many survival skills, including how to climb low-branching trees -- a unique ability among dog-like mammals. Parents are monogamous, and remain together for extended periods.


The Gray Fox is the forest fox of the eastern United States; The Red Fox prefers more open habitats . The Gray Fox is unique among the wild dog species of North America in that it is an excellent tree climber and can leap from branch to branch like a cat. This ability allows it to escape from predators , forage for food, and gain access to dens or resting places. One Gray Fox den was found in a hollow tree 9.1 m (30 ft ) above the ground! This fox is most active at night, also at dusk and dawn.


Eagles, Coyotes, and Bobcats.


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Name Status: Accepted Name .

Last scrutiny: 15-Aug-2007

Similar Species

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The somewhat larger Red Fox has a white tail tip, and its feet, underside of tail, and ear edges are black.

Members of the genus Urocyon

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 9 species and subspecies in this genus:

U. cinereoargenteus (Grey Fox) · U. cinereoargenteus cinereoargenteus (Common Gray Fox) · U. littoralis (California Channel Island Fox) · U. littoralis catalinae (Santa Catalina Island Fox) · U. littoralis clementae (San Clemente Island Fox) · U. littoralis dickeyi (Channel Islands Gray Fox) · U. littoralis littoralis (San Miguel Fox) · U. littoralis santacruzae (Santa Cruz Island Fox) · U. littoralis santarosae (Santa Rosa Island Fox)

More Info

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Further Reading

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Data Sources

Accessed through GBIF Data Portal February 29, 2008:



  1. Mean = 405.430 meters (1,330.151 feet), Standard Deviation = 648.160 based on 127 observations. Altitude information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]
  2. Cypher, B.L., Fuller, T.K. & List, R. 2008. Urocyon cinereoargenteus. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. <>. Downloaded on 05 February 2012. [back]
Last Revised: 2015-02-06