North Carolina has two fox species, the gray fox and the red fox. The gray fox is often found in large wooded tracts and in farmland where small prey is abundant. The red fox is found in open forest stands, pasture, brushy fields and farmland.


GRAY FOX (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)

Though both the red fox and the gray fox live in North Carolina today, the gray fox is the state’s only native fox species. The most obvious sign of the presence of gray foxes is tracks that are similar to domestic cat tracks, except gray fox tracks have claw marks. Since gray foxes are more adapted to warmer climates than red foxes, there is little or no fur between the toe and foot pads, resulting in a more distinct track than that left by red foxes.

RED FOX (Vulpes vulpes)

The red fox is named for its reddish or orangish coloration. The tail, body and top of the head are all some shade of yellow-orange to reddish-orange. The undersides are light, and the tips of the ears and lower legs are black.