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Wolves Dogs Coyotes Jackals and Foxes: Canidae

Physical Characteristics, Canids And People, Gray Wolf (canis Lupus): Species Accounts, Red Fox (vulpes Vulpes): Species AccountsGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, BEHAVIOR AND REPRODUCTION, CONSERVATION S

MANED WOLF (Chrysocyon brachyurus): SPECIES ACCOUNTS

Canids live on every continent except Antarctica.

Most canids favor areas where forests meet open country. Some live in deserts. The Arctic fox and some gray wolves occupy the tundra. The bush dog and raccoon dog prefer thick forests near water. Canids have also adapted to human environments.

Canids primarily prey on other mammals. Large prey include elk and caribou, and small animals include rodents and rabbits. They also eat insects, berries, carrion (dead and decaying flesh), and garbage.

Canids live in packs, or social groups, ruled by a male and his partner. They communicate through vocalization, including barks, growls, and howls. They also use body language, such as erecting the fur, to show dominance. Canids mate for life, with the whole pack parenting the young.

The United States lists the red wolf as Endangered, facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild, because of habitat loss due to deforestation and hunting. The IUCN classifies the African hunting wolf and the Ethiopian wolf as Endangered because of habitat loss resulting from human settlement and killing.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammals