Cape Fox (Vulpes chama)

Cape Fox (Vulpes chama) Silhouette

Quick stats of the Cape Fox

  • Diet: - Carnivore
  • Shoulder Height: - 0.33 m
  • Weight: - Male - 3.3 kg
  • Weight: - Female - 3.2 kg
  • Lifespan - 10 years


Cape Fox - Vixen with kit © SA Tourism

The Cape Fox is found in sub-Saharan Africa with open spaces such as semi-arid, dry savannah and bush lands but avoids forest type regions. It is the only fox of its species living in the southern hemisphere in Africa.

The Cape Fox is small, the male being slightly heavier at a weight of about 3,3 kg. Its coat is black to grayish-silver, with a reddish brown head and a pale yellow stomach and sides. It has a long, black tipped tail, reaching half of its body length.

They live alone or in pairs and are nocturnal, with the exception of the young kits playing outside during the daytime. The foxes are not territorial and will sometimes have communal dens, although they feed alone.

Cape Foxes are omnivorous, eating small mammals, reptiles, rodents, insects and fruit, but will also scavenge. They are known to kill small livestock and can be a problem to farmers.

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After a gestation period of 51 - 53 days, 3 -5 kits are born. New born kits are small, weighing 50 - 100g. Both parents care for the litter until they reach independence at around 5 months.

Other Names for the Cape Fox

  • Cama Fox
  • Silver Backed Fox
  • Silwervos


Distribution map of the Cape Fox
Distribution map of the Cape Fox

Taxonomy of the Cape Fox

  • Order - Carnivora
  • Family - Canidae
  • Genus - Vulpes
  • Species - Vulpes chama

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