The James River Park System - Richmond, VA

Science in the Park

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red fox
Urocyon cinereoargenteus
Family: Canidae

Predator / Omnivore
Native to Virginia

Red fox Factsheet

Eastern Gray Fox

gray fox

The eastern gray fox, one of North America’s native dog species, is present in every county in Virginia, and, along with red fox and coyote, is the third dog species we have documented in the JRPS. A unique feature of this small mammal is its semi-retractable, strongly hooked front claws, which enable it to climb trees. They are usually out-competed in urban areas by the red fox, but the presence of coyotes pushes red foxes out. This opens up habitat for the gray fox to move into, as they can climb trees to escape coyotes or domesticated dogs running off-leash.

Recorded activity in the James River Park

A grey fox caught on camera in April 2017 is the first sighting of this species since the camera project began in 2014 (the time stamp on the video is incorrect). Videos from a second location confirm their presence on both sides of the river. To spot this fox, look up as well as down, as they may be sunning on a tree limb in the canopy.

Gray fox sitting on Vimeo.

See second gray fox video »