26 September 2021

Arabian Red Fox – Jubail area

Whilst birding the Jubail area 17 September we came across an Arabian Red Fox. Initially the animal was quite some distance but we managed to manouver the car to get excellent views of the fox which was completely unfazed by our presence. These are the best views I have had of this species for quite a few years and was an excellent start to the days birdwatching. Red Fox is currently recognized as a single species and has the widest natural distribution of any terrestrial carnivore, possibly any terrestrial mammal. Its range spans approximately 70 million square kilometres encompassing much of Europe, Asia and North America and extending into North Africa, with an introduced population in Australia. The Red Fox occupies a wide variety of ecosystems, including forests, grasslands, deserts and agricultural and human-dominated environments with a recent genomically comprehensive study suggesting the originated from the Middle East. The Arabian Red fox has very large ears for its size and is very thin and sandy coloured compared to the European Red Fox looking quite different. This individual appears to have most of its summer coat remaining, but its tail is coming into winter plumage.