Otocyon megalotis - The Bat-eared Fox

The Bat-eared Fox is the only canid to have largely abandoned mammalian prey in favour of insects.

Characterized by large dish like ears and grey-black markings, the bat-eared Fox lives mainly in the open grasslands and grassy deserts of Southern and Central Africa.

Did you know? Bat-eared foxes mate for life, and sometimes two females will mate with one male and share a communal den.

Size

Body length: 50-60cm
Tail: 30-35cm
Stands: 35-40cm

Weight

Weight: 3-4.5kg

Habitat

Open woodland, grassy plains.

Distribution

There are two primary populations; one in South Africa and the other in East Africa.

In South Africa, they can be found at the Aquila Game Reserve (less than an hour from Gansbaai), Tankwa Karoo National Park (4.5 hours from Cape Town), the Namaqua National Park (just over five hours north of Paternoster and Langebaan), and the Garden Route Game Reserve, which is about 44 kilometres from Mossel Bay.

Diet - Insectivorous

Insects, particularly termites and grasshoppers.

A small precentage of their diet includes lizards, small birds, eggs, small mammals and fruit.

Socialisation

Nocturnal animals, Bat-eared foxes live in pairs and both partners rear the cubs. They are mostly monogamous and breed every year, giving birth to two or three pups.

Reproduction

After a gestation period of two months, the female gives birth to 2-3 young.

Did you know? The father is very invested in the rearing of young, and he spends a great deal of time caring for them.

Gestation

Two months

Life Expectancy

12 years

Predators

  • Humans
  • Hyenas
  • Jackals
  • African Wild Dogs
  • Rock Pythons
  • Cheetahs
  • Large birds of prey
  • Many others

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Where to see Bat-eared Fox in their natural habitat?

In South Africa, Bat-eared foxes are most often seen in the dry centre of the country, in the Cape fynbos and the Kalahari. They do not occur in the Kruger Park but you have a possibility of seeing them in the far north. They are often seen on private nature reserves like Samara, near Graaff-Reinet.

Conservation Status
Bat-eared Fox
Least
Concern
South Africa's Big 5

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