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Urban Fox
Courtesy of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government


Madra Rua

The fox most commonly found in Ireland, and in the world, is the red fox. Although called the “red fox” they are not always red. Their colours can vary from pale yellow to deep reddish brown, with a white or pale underside. Fox’s ears are long and pointy.

Find out more facts about fox’s below:

  • Body length 50-100cm
  • Tail length 30- 45cm
  • Hind Foot 13-16cm
  • Paw length 5cm
  • Height at shoulder 30-40cm
  • Weight 4 – 9 kg
Of all animals, foxes are one of the most widespread on earth. They can live in arctic tundra, open grassland or city streets, but they prefer to live near forests. Foxes can also be found in cities, mainly in areas with big back gardens.

Foxes live underground in ‘dens’ or ‘earths’. These are just like rabbit holes, only bigger.

Sometimes a den is made from an old rabbit hole or a badger’s set. Foxes usually have a number of dens within their territory.

In the city, dens can be found in the strangest of places. Locations of fox dens in Dublin have included: gardens, sheds, compost heaps, a church basement, a utility room of a private house (amongst the laundry!) and in a scrap car in a junkyard!

Have you ever seen a fox's den?

If you know of a den nearby, here are some tips to tell whether that den is in use.

  • Stick your head a little into the entrance hole and have a good smell! If you get a nasty smell then the den has foxes in it.
  • Look for food remains like bones and feathers spread out around the entrance. This could mean that there are fox cubs in the den.
  • In good weather, foxes like to do a bit of sunbathing outside the den. Look for signs of trampled grass near the entrance.
  • The droppings, urine and food remains left by foxes make for very fertile soil. So if there are a lot of flowers and other plants around an opening then it is probably a fox’s den.
  • In cities, foxes also like collecting things, so if you find some old toys or shoes lying around an opening then it is also likely to be a fox’s den.

In cities there are a lot more foxes around the place than in the countryside. In Dublin, you could see a fox family every kilometre but in the countryside you might only see one every 10km.

Have you seen a fox recently?