Genus and Species: Vulpes corsac
25-40 inches long (including tail)
9 years in the wild
13 years in captivity
Corsac foxes are found semi deserts or desert regions in Central Asia, Mongolia, and even Northeastern China. They call open grassy steppes and semideserts home, while avoiding dense vegetation and mountainous regions.
Since Corsac foxes live primarily in arid climates, they need little water to survive and get most of their fluids from their food. This fox’s diet consists of mainly insects and small rodents, but they may occasionally eat hares and pikas, and also scavenge for carrion. They are predominately carnivores, but will eat fruit and vegetation when other options are scarce.
Corsac foxes are medium-sized foxes characterized by their sandy or pale grey fur, tinged with a reddish hue, making them well-suited to their desert and steppe habitats. Their fur grows thicker during the winter, offering protection against the cold.
Corsac foxes are primarily carnivorous but exhibit a level of adaptability in their diet based on seasonal availability. They primarily feed on rodents, pikas, and small birds. However, they aren’t averse to consuming insects, fruits, and even vegetation. They have a keen sense of hearing which aids them in locating prey hidden beneath the snow or sand.
Unlike most fox species, Corsac foxes have been known to form packs. While this species does not typically have a territory they’ll defend, they have been known to migrate south in the winter months as they cannot hunt in deep snow.
Corsac foxes take shelter in burrows, and while they can dig their own dens, they will often take over burrows of other animals such as ground squirrels or badgers. The dens of these foxes are rather shallow at around three feet deep, but will have several entrances and is usually shared between social packs.
Like Red foxes and Arctic Foxes, Corsac foxes will form a monogamous bond during mating season and work together to raise their young. Unlike other fox species, sometimes Corsacs will share a den with other pregnant females.
While the Corsac Fox is currently listed as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List, they still face threats that could jeopardize their population. Despite being decent climbers, the Corsac fox is a slow runners, which makes them easily caught by their biggest threats: dogs and hunters. Sadly Corsac foxes are heavily hunted for their fur. In the late 19th century, up to 10,000 of these animals were killed annually for their pelts.