Tibetan Sand fox

“Tibetan fox in China’s Tibet Plateau” by Wang LiQiang

Common Name: Tibetan Sand Fox

Scientific Name: Vulpes ferrilata

Conservation Status: Least Concern (Harris, 2014)

Habitat: Treeless vegetation habitats such as alpine meadow, alpine steppe, and desert steppe in upland plains and hills. the harsh arid to semi-arid climate produce temperatures ranging from -40°C to 30℃ (Schaller & Ginsberg, 2004).

Range: Found in the Tibetan Plateau from the Ladakh area of India, east across China including parts of the Xinjiang, Gansu, Qinghai, and Sichuan provinces. Also present in the mustang region of Nepal located just North of the Himalayas (Schaller & Ginsberg, 2004).

Diet: Primarily carnivorous; Tibetan foxes primarily feed on pikas and rodents but they have been noted to consume lizards, insects, and vegetation such as Ephedra berries as well (Schaller & Ginsberg, 2004).

Threats: This species is legally protected in some Chinese reserves however their protection is minimal. These foxes have historically been used by locals to create hats but their pelts are described as coarse and of low value. The most prominent threat to this species involves the government-sponsored poisoning of pikas, a  reduction or elimination of this species’ main prey could be detrimental to the Tibetan Fox’s survival (Canid Specialist Group).