Red foxes live around the world in many diverse habitats including forests, grasslands, mountains, deserts, farms, suburban areas, and even large communities. They have large, upright ears and their hearing is so sharp that they can hear a watch ticking 40 yards away or a little mouse squeak 100 meters away!
Their tail is over half its body length - 70% of its head and body length long. The largest of the true foxes, the red fox is also the most widespread, found across the entire northern hemisphere. The largest threats to the red fox population include habitat loss and fragmentation, exploitation and hunting.
But the secretive Sierra Nevada red fox — genetically and geographically distinct from all other red foxes — inhabits remote, high-elevation reaches of the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade Mountains.
Unfortunately, this unique animal is one of the rarest mammals in North America and is now limited to only two tiny California populations that likely consist of fewer than 50 — and possibly even fewer than 20 — individuals. The Sierra Nevada Red Fox is already a highly vulnerable to extinction due to its perilously small population size and reduced genetic diversity, this fox faces many dire threats to its habitat, including logging, off-road and over-snow vehicles, livestock grazing and fish stocking.
The fox is also endangered by climate change, which has already caused hotter and drier conditions in the Sierra Nevada and is projected to shrink the fox's habitat as temperatures warm and push the animal farther up mountain slopes.
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