Natural predators of the red fox can include (depending on the region) bears, domesticated dogs, eagles and hawks, hyenas, jackals, leopards, lynx, mountain lions, owls, wolves and wolverines. Coyotes seem to have a natural aversion to foxes and have been seen killing them and leaving their carcasses uneaten. Foxes are also subject to diseases such as distemper, sarcoptic mange, and rabies, and face more mundane threats, such as starvation, exposure, and old age.
Humans are the chief factor in fox mortality. Fur trapping, vermin control programs, and sport hunting readily come to mind, however humans can also destroy habitat and automobiles pose a serious threat to a fox scavenging for roadkill. The London Wildlife Trust´s web site suggests an annual death rate of 60% in London´s urban fox populations, as many as half being due to auto accidents.
Captive red foxes may live to twelve years or more, though prospects are much less promising in the wild. Mortality is highest in the fox´s first year of life; pups are vulnerable to predation and juveniles sometimes lack the experience needed to survive. Perhaps two or three kits will survive out of a litter of six. Assuming he lives to adulthood, a red fox can expect to live to four or five years of age.
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