- Tibetan Sand Fox
name = Tibetan Sand FoxMSW3 Wozencraft | id=14000872]
status = LC
status_system = iucn2.3
status_ref = IUCN2006|assessors=Schaller & Ginsberg|year=2004|id=23061|title=Vulpes ferrilata|downloaded=9 May 2006 Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern]
trend = unknown
phylum = Chordata
genus = "
species = "V. ferrilata"
binomial = "Vulpes ferrilata"
binomial_authority = Hodgson,
The Tibetan Sand Fox ("Vulpes ferrilata") is
speciesof true fox endemic to the high Tibetan Plateauin Nepal, China, and India, up to altitudes of about 5300 m. Is is sometimes referred to as the Tibetan Fox, or simply as the Sand Fox, but this terminology is confusing because the Corsac Fox("Vulpes corsac"), which lives in arid environments north and west of the Tibetan Plateau, is often called the "Sand Fox" as well.
The Tibetan Sand Fox is one of the smaller fox species. It has thick, soft
furthat protects it from the winds of the high mountains, with a dense undercoatthat is brown to rusty yellow in color. The fur on the upper flanks is rusty, whereas the lower flanks and rump is colored gray, sometimes producing the illusion of a line along the animal's flank. The lower part of its ruff, as well as its throat, chest, and abdominal region is white. Small black patches on the shoulders set off the white chest.The tip of the tailis white. Adult Tibetan foxes are 60 to 70 cm from head to body (juveniles are somewhat smaller) and a tail length of 29 to 40 cm. Weights of adults are usually 4 to 5.5 kg.cite journal | author = Harris, R.B., Z.H. Wang, J.K. Zhou, and Q.X. Liu | year = 2008 | title = Notes on biology of the Tibetan fox ("Vulpes ferrilata") | journal = Canid News | volume = 11 | pages = 1–7 | url = http://www.canids.org/canidnews/11/Biology_of_Tibetan_fox.pdf]
The Tibetan Sand Fox has a unique face that appears square; this is an illusion created by its large ruff. As seen in the Planet Earth episode "Great Plains", the fox keeps its body stiff and its head level when stalking.
The Tibetan Sand Fox's
karotypeis made up of 36 chromosomes.
Mated pairs remain together and may also hunt together.cite journal | author = Liu, Q.X., R. B. Harris, X.M. Wang, and Z.H. Wang | year = 2007 | title = Home range size and overlap of Tibetan foxes ("Vulpes ferrilata") in Dulan County, Qinghai Province | journal = Acta Theriologica Sinica | volume = 27 | pages = 370–75zh] Mating evidently occurs in December, with whelping in February.
gestation periodof about 50 to 60 days, two to four young are born in a den, and stay with the parents until they are eight to ten months old.cite journal | author = Clark, H.O, Jr., D. P. Newman, J. D. Murdoch, J. Tseng, Z.H. Wang, R. B. Harris | year = in press | chapter = Vulpes ferrilata | title = Mammalian Species] Shortly after leaving they will search for mates and territory of their own.
In contrast to other fox species, the Tibetan Fox is not highly territorial, so it may be found near other foxes.
The Tibetan Sand Fox primarily preys on the
Plateau Pika("Ochotona curzoniae"); it also feeds on rodents, ground birds, and carrion.
1998 dropping analysisof 113 fox droppings to determine the Tibetan Sand Fox diet showed a content of 95 percent Plateau Pika ("Ochotona curzoniae") and 2.7 percent Tibetan Antelope("Pantholops hodgsonii"), most likely scavenged. The remainder consisted of insects, bird feathers, and plants, including Ephedraberries. A previous study in 1986showed Woolly Hare("Lepus oiostolus") and a lizardof the " Phrynocephalus" genus, while a separate study the previous year of 158 droppings in the Qinghai Province of China noted additional content, including Himalayan Marmot("Marmota himalayana"), Bharal("Pseudois nayaur"), Himalayan Musk Deer("Moschus chrysogaster"), and livestock.
* [http://www.canids.org/species/Vulpes_ferrilata.htm picture]
*"Tibetan fox ("Vulpes ferrilata")." Canid Specialist Group, World Conservation Union/Species Survival Commission. 2005. ( [http://www.canids.org/species/Tibetan_fox.pdf PDF file] )
*Borgwat, Melissa. "Vulpes ferrilata (Tibetan fox)." Animal Diversity Web. University of Michigan. 2001. [http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Vulpes_ferrilata.html]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.