Mammal Identification

Fox Vulpes vulpes

Identification features

picture of two foxes together

  • Medium-sized mammal with long legs
  • Black feet and lower legs
  • Has a long tail (which reaches the ground) which is bushy with a white tip
  • Body fur colour is gingerish with a creamy white underneath
  • Conspicous triangular-shaped ears which are white on the inside
  • Face is ginger coloured and white below the cheeks and mouth
  • Black nose

Foxes are highly adaptable mammals, being found in almost all habitats. They are increasingly being recorded in urban areas.

Other identification clues


Fox footprints have 4 toes. An imaginary line can be drawn through the print which does not touch any of the pads.


Fox scat: Derek Whiteley

The colour and content of fox droppings(scats) vary according to what they have been eating.

In the autumn, when blackberries are abundant, droppings may appear purple.

Otherwise droppings can contain fur, feathers and bones. They are variable in size.


Fox burrow (earth)

Fox burrows (earths) have a tall narrow appearance usually 20-25 cm in diameter.

They often have a musty smell.

Freshy excavated earth can have fox hairs in it (russet red hairs with a silver tip).

Status in Derbyshire information

Photos: Derek Whiteley