Where Are Red Foxes Found? (Do They Live All Over The World?)

Red foxes love living in forested environments because of the coverage. Red foxes can sustain themselves in nearly any environment. They are fully capable of sustaining themselves in urban environments, and they can adjust well to human presence after being exposed to humans for a while.

Foxes typically measure things based on convenience, ranking some locations better than others because of their resource availability. The red fox is unlikely to establish territory in areas teeming with predators or low in food. They do not settle in areas that are not sustainable, such as cold environments or areas with excessive numbers of large predators such as mountain lions, bears, and coyotes. 

Although foxes are one of the most common animals globally, they are not on every continent. They choose places to live based on how likely they will survive in the area. Red foxes use their innovative skills and resourceful behavior to lower their body temperature when necessary and their adaptive coats to stay warm and dry.

Where Do Foxes Live?

Some of the most common areas that the fox lives in include forested regions and prairies. However, the fox is highly adaptable and can find resources in any environment. They use their innate sense of smell and keen eyesight to track down large water bodies, prey on small mammals and insects, and detect predators.

Places with ample resources are generally the best place for the fox because they can hunt easily. The less effort a fox has to exert, the better. One of the main components of the red fox’s diet is mice and rats. These rodents live in forests, deserts, and grasslands. Therefore, they will live in these areas to make hunting more convenient.

These vigilant animals observe their surroundings entirely before settling to ensure that the ecosystem and overall climate are satisfactory. They will guarantee to settle their territory somewhere safe, keeping them free from vulnerabilities.

Foxes Live In Forests

The red fox typically lives in forested regions where they are well-covered or can find good coverage from large predators. Forests often have the widest range of resources for the fox. Therefore, it makes a great habitat.

They live in all types of forests, including rainforests, dry forests, and jungles. The fox can find a way to sustain itself in any environment. Thick vegetation is great for foxes because they provide coverage from predators and plenty of natural resources. Many small rodents make their homes in forests, and they are vulnerable to the fox.

Foxes Live In Grasslands

There is substantial food in grasslands. Since resources are readily available here, foxes are likely to establish territories in these areas. Prairies are highly common, yet dangerous, places for the red fox to live. There is a substantial amount of food available to the red fox in grasslands and plenty of coverage within the tall, thick grass.

On the other hand, unfortunately, many predators can lurk in prairies. Larger canines or felines, bears, moose, and wild game are likely to roam grasslands, making it dangerous for the wild fox.                                                                   

Foxes Live In Farmlands

Farmlands are sustainable environments for the red fox because they have a large amount of food readily available for the red fox. Red foxes prey on small farm animals like chickens, which provide the red fox with the necessary protein through meat and eggs.

The fox will live nearby farms, burying eggs along the perimeters of farms. Foxes may dig holes or even establish territory on property. 

Foxes never intend to hunt farm animals. Wild foxes are usually frightened and deterred by the human presence. Many farmlands are in remote, rural areas. When foxes get desperate for food, they will hunt farm animals.

Foxes Live In Desert areas

The desert is not the best place for the red fox because it is hot, but there are still several places for the red fox to live. Furthermore, there is sometimes a lack of sufficient water, food, and other resources in some areas.

The red fox will dig burrows in desert dunes to hide, birth kits, and sleep during the night. Hiding under the sand is a defense tactic, and it is also a common way for the fox to keep cool in hot weather. 

Foxes Benefit From Living In The Mountains

Foxes may benefit from living in mountain regions because of the ample hunting grounds. Whether rocky, snowy, or muddy, foxes inhabit most mountain states in the United States. These mountainous terrains are great for the red fox, typically sustaining them with plenty of food like small mammals, fruits, and vegetables. 

Mountain terrains are great for the fox because they usually have fewer water sources than forests, grasslands, and farmlands. The red fox prefers living in an environment that has water. Instead, they have small streams and ponds that are sustainable to small ecosystems. Typically, a small ecosystem is ideal for the wild fox.

Foxes Live In Urban Areas

It is common to find foxes living in urban areas. According to Encylopedia Britannica, foxes can successfully survive in urban environments because of their expansive diet and foraging skills. The red fox can adapt to human presence, thriving in cities or suburban areas. However, they are always initially scared of the human presence and will typically choose a remote area, infrequently visited.

An urban fox hanging out on a rooftop

Wild foxes in urban areas like to make homes inside things and underneath overhangs. Foxes may also make a home in backyards, bushes, and under trash. Humans can coexist peacefully with foxes. However, approaching a wild fox can be dangerous because of potential illness and varying temperaments.

Humans Will Domesticate Red Foxes

The domestication of red foxes is becoming more popular. Humans keep their domesticated or pet red foxes in several areas. In most states and countries, you require a permit and location requirement for keeping a red fox in captivity.

Depending on the level of domestication and intention for their captivity, the fox might be kept in several areas.

You will find domesticated foxes in urban locations such as: 

  • Zoos
  • Research centers and educational facilities
  • Approved residential enclosures
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Exotic veterinary practices

These containment locations are typically close to other businesses and homes -although they can also be remote. To be approved for a permit, the location you keep your red fox must be adequate in size and secure to protect people in the surrounding urban area.

All Climates and Temperatures Red Foxes Live In

Foxes can survive in any climate, including grasslands, tundra, and desert. They are innovative animals who use their quick thinking to adapt to changing temperatures in any environment. Plus, their natural body functions and evolutionary adaptions help the red fox overcome potentially overwhelming weather fluctuations.

The fox can adapt to environments. However, you will typically see them living in their preferred locations. Foxes will take on new appearances as a camouflage effect in certain locations.

For instance, a red fox living in a warm area may have lighter, less dense fur. In contrast, a fox living in a forested region might have thicker fur. These adaptations help the fox live according to its habitat.

Foxes Like Moderate Climates

A moderate climate is ideal for the red fox. When the temperature is between warm and cold, the fox can productively conduct their daily needs. Moderate climates help the red fox live comfortably and safely without regulating body temperature.

Foxes are an animal who lives by minimizing their external effort. The more effort required, the less likely they will do something. When living in a moderate climate, the red fox gets exasperated less easily because their body temperature does not get as hot as quickly.

Foxes Cope With Hot Climates

Hot climates are tolerable for the fox because they know plenty of ways to cool themselves down. One of the best ways that these animals cool themselves off is by wading in water. They do not like water and typically live in places without large water bodies. However, they will visit water sources to swim and lower their body temperatures.

They may also lay on large rocks, under shade, or in dens. Some red foxes can be impartial to hot climates because their prey acts lazy, making them an easy target. The red fox will take short hunting trips while it is hot, allowing themselves to capture prey lying about lazily. 

Foxes Adapt To Cold Climates

Red foxes do not prefer cold climates. However, their thick coats allow the red fox to adapt to cold temperatures. Despite disliking cold weather, they prefer states in America with frequent snow, such as Michigan, Indiana, and other inland states. They prefer these cold states because some red foxes in cold regions will dig dens into the snow to give birth and raise their kits.

These dens are underground in the snow. If they are not underground, the fox will sleep aboveground and allow the snow to fall on top of them. The fox copes with cold weather because of its thick fur. This thick fur is water-resistant, protecting the fox from the ice as it burrows underground.

Red foxes frequently choose locations with plenty of sleeping territory that will give them open space to sleep and cover themselves in the snow at night.

States and Countries Where Red Foxes Live

Many countries worldwide support the red fox, including most mainland states in America. Finding red foxes is common in places outside the United States like the United Kingdom, Canada, and many European countries.

Most foxes live regionally, based on resource availability. As they expand territory globally and across the United States, they adapt their diets and appearances to fit their surroundings. The intelligent red fox also has sharp hunting skills, which they can use to find food anywhere.

While the red fox is a natural carnivore, this foraging animal can also dig for food and hunt for fish. There is no shortage of food available to the fox. Therefore, they can settle in nearly country, state, or region.

Just to name a few, red foxes live in some of the following countries outside of America: 

  • Canada
  • The United Kingdom
  • Japan
  • Ireland
  • Russia
  • Australia                                   
  • South Africa
  • New Zealand

Canada

Red foxes are very popular in Canada. People commonly report seeing red foxes in farming communities, where they are eager to eat wildlife and vegetation. According to The Canadian Encyclopedia, red foxes are present everywhere from the US border to the tundra, aside from coastal British Columbia.

Canadian red foxes can have color alterations that appear different from the average red fox. The stripe on their backs or light coloring is an evolutionary feature that helps the red fox camouflage itself in the snow.

Europe

Most European countries have red foxes. Red foxes are popular in Italy, Germany, Ireland, and much more. Red foxes have been all in Europe for at least as long as humans, but unlike other canines, it hasn’t been domesticated.

In many European countries, it is legal to own a pet fox. 

Asia

There are many Asian countries rampant with wild and domestic foxes. Countries in Asia such as Japan, China, and Taiwan are full of red foxes. In addition to being wild, it is legal to own a domestic red fox in Asian countries like Japan.

Do Foxes Live Everywhere?

There are many countries and states where foxes do not have high populations or are non-existent. In some cases, the governing country or state may also restrict the trade of red foxes. It is impossible to purchase a red fox in places where trade is restricted unless you purchase a domestic fox from an in-state breeder.

You may also capture foxes in the wild from one of the many places they sleep, hide, or hunt.

Most countries, states, or general regions where foxes are uncommon have had previous negative experiences with red foxes. These animals are natural predators. Introducing the red fox to certain territories has proved a naturally poor decision.

Places Outside The United States Where Red Foxes Do Not Live

Red foxes are native to many countries but can be dangerous to the environment depending on the climate and biodiversity. Many countries outside of the United States have had negative impacts with red foxes. 

There are many countries that have yet to see red foxes. They are wild canines that have spread naturally by dominating territory and roaming freely. If they continue reproducing, the fox will continue to spread until eventually, this animal covers remotely every continent.

Places Inside The United States Where Foxes Do Not Live 

Most states within America have wild foxes. However, not all states are sustainable to the wild fox, and therefore they will establish territory elsewhere.

Furthermore, some states do not allow the domestication of red foxes. They may also forbid temporary or permanent ownership of foxes. Restrictions on trade, breeding, and importation can lead to a lack of foxes in states where owning red foxes is outlawed, such as New York.

Foxes Are Illegal In Some States

In some states, the presence of red foxes is remotely non-existent. Places like New York do not have many foxes, and it is strictly illegal to import or export any foxes. It is also illegal to breed, capture, or purchase any foxes in-state. New York is one example of an American state that has restrictions on foxes, impacting the number of foxes in the area. 

Foxes Do Not Live In The Hawaiian Islands

The Hawaiin Islands are free of these wild canines. A red fox on any Hawaiin Island is an invasive species and can be dangerous to the ecosystem, especially to birds and vegetation. In addition to these islands, most coast-side cities are also free of red foxes because they dislike water.

Foxes Do Not Live In New Zealand

When people imported foxes into New Zealand, they failed to reproduce. At first, this was a majorly disappointing failure. According to Auckland Museum, the failure to reproduce was a good thing. Wild red foxes would have destroyed many birds and natural wildlife if the two red foxes had bred successfully.

Foxes Are An Invasive Species In Australia

Although you will find red foxes in Australia, they are an invasive species disrupting the ecosystem. According to Canadian Geographic, the red fox was introduced to Australia as an invasive species and continues to put the remaining species at risk by breeding.

What Happens When Importing An Invasive Species?

Importing invasive species is illegal and can result in prison time, at worst. Most countries have restrictions or limitations on fox ownership, breeding, or importation. They may also have limitations on the hunting or capturing of foxes.

Governments in countries like New Zealand enforce strict trade regulations to protect their ecosystem. These trade regulations forbid foxes from being introduced into states and countries where they would be invasive.

Therefore, it is best to avoid interaction with wild foxes no matter where you live unless you are a certified professional with training in handling exotic wildlife. Otherwise, you could bring a fox where it is not allowed to be and commit a crime that you did not know was illegal.