Follow our Youtube channelFind us on Facebook

South AsiaIndian fox Vulpes bengalensis

Least Concern

The Indian Fox is endemic to the Indian subcontinent. Although widespread, it occurs at low densities throughout its range, and populations can undergo major fluctuations due to prey availability. Due to loss of short grassland-scrub habitat to intensive agriculture, industry and development projects the Indian Fox population is on the decline. However, the decline is unlikely to be sufficient to warrant the listing of the species in a threatened category and therefore is currently assessed as Least Concern.

Population trend:Decreasing

(Indian fox range map)
(Click on map for more detail)

Habitat and Ecology:

The Indian Fox prefers semi-arid, flat to undulating terrain, scrub and grassland habitats where it is easy to hunt and dig dens. It avoids dense forests, steep terrain, tall grasslands and true deserts. The species is relatively abundant in the biogeographic zones 3, 4 and 6 of India, in which rainfall is low, and the vegetation is typically scrub, thorn or dry deciduous forests, or short grasslands (Rodgers et al. 2000). In the Indian peninsula, the species is restricted to the plains and open scrub forest.

 

Major Threats:

Although the Indian Fox is widespread, it occurs at low densities throughout its range, and populations can undergo major fluctuations due to prey availability. It is also quite sensitive to human modifications of its habitat. With expanding human populations and continued development of grasslands and "wastelands" for agricultural and industrial uses, the habitat of the Indian Fox is continuously being depleted. The combination of above factors along with disease and/or natural mortality could potentially cause local extinctions. In certain states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan, the Indian Fox habitat is widespread with minimal threats, while in other states like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu the specialized habitats of the Indian Fox are under serious threat.

There are no known commercial uses for the Indian Fox, although there is limited localized trade for skin, tail, teeth and claws (for medicinal and charm purposes).