Common Name Latin Name Males Females Juveniles
Arabian Red Fox Vulpes vulpes arabica 1 5 1
Arabian Wolf Canis lupus arabs 2 1 0
Common Jackal Canis aureus 2 4 0
Blanford's Fox Vulpes cana 4 6 0
Rueppell's Sand Fox Vulpes rueppellii 2 2 2
Striped Hyaena Hyaena hyaena sultana 1 2 0

Arabian Red Fox

Adult Red fox (Jane Edmonds)Found throughout Arabia in a variety of habitats, ranging from arid, rocky mountainous terrain to desert fringes and coastal plains. Highly adaptable the red fox is one of the few species which seems to have benefited from mans distruction of the habitat; nowdays foxes are observed in urban areas. 

Similar in colour and build to the European Red fox the Arabian sub-species is smaller, has large, black tipped ears and fine hairs between its toes and foot pads, an adaptation to life in the desert. Approximate body length is 50 - 90 centimetres, with a weight between 2.5 - 5 kilograms.  Lifespan in the wild is seldom more than 7 years, although in captivity this can double.

Pups are normally born underground between December and March, after a gestation period of 51 - 53 days. Litters can vary in size from 2 - 7 pups.

Omnivoreous and opportunistic by nature, they find, catch and prey upon a wide variety of small mammals, birds, insects, carrion, fruits and garbage. Emerging at dusk and remaining active for much of the night they sleep during the heat of the day in dens underground.

Arabian Wolf

Arabian WolfThought to be extinct in the UAE the Arabian wolf is Endangered in the rest of Arabia where it is still heavily persicuted. Inhabiting mountainous areas, gravel plains and the desert fringes wolves have large home ranges which they patrol consistantly. Unlike their European and North American realitives they normally live in small groups due to the scarcity of food but have been know to form larger packs in some areas, especially when food is abundant.

The Arabian wolf is smaller and lighter in colour than their northern counterparts and have short thin hair in summer. Their coats vary in colour from light brown through to a greyish yellow normally with a paler, sometimes white, belly. In winter thier coats are much longer and thicker.

They feed primarily on carrion, small birds, rodents, reptiles, insects and ungulates. Fruits and plants are also eaten when meat is in short supply.

The Arabian wolf is the largest canid in Arabia, measuring between 114 - 140 centimetres in length and weighing between 20 - 25 kgs. Their breeding season starts in October and etends through to December. Pups are born after a gestation period of about 9 weeks, with litter sizes as large as 12 but normally 2 - 3 pups are born. Between the age of 6 - 8 weeks the pups are weaned.

Common Jackal

Common JackalAlso known as the Asiatic or Golden Jackal the Common jackals range extends from south-eastern Europe through Asia Minor and southern Russia to Iran, India, Burma and Thailand. It ranges widely in Africa, from Senegal to Egypt, south to Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya. In Arabia the Jackal is known throughout the northern part of the region, but is scarce in the remainder of the Peninsula.

This species closely resembles the wolf in general form but is noticeably smaller, measuring only 40 cm at shoulder height. The tail is short and is usually less than two thirds the length of the head and body, which is between 70 - 85 cm. Overall, the coat is shaggy composed of long, course contour hairs with a soft, woolly undercoat. There is much individual variation in colour, however, the under wool is usually yellow to pale ash grey with variegated black and white contour hairs. They have long, slender legs which are an adaptation to their style of hunting as coarser rather than the feline method of stalking.

The Jackal is strictly nocturnal in areas densely inhabited by people, but may be seen moving during daylight hours where human disturbance is negligible. Territories reach over 0.5 - 2.5 square kilometres. Its opportunistic diet includes juvenile gazelles, rodents, ground birds and their eggs, reptiles, frogs, fish, insects and fruit. They take carrion on occasion. Cooperative hunting is important to the Jackal, as this greatly increases their chance of making a successful kill and allows them to take on large prey. All behaviour is highly synchronized as they forage and rest together.

The basic social unit of the Jackal is a mated pair or family group with young. Both parents play a very important role, providing food and protection. Sexual maturity is reached after one year and births takes place after a gestation period of approximately 63 days and litters can be anything from 1 - 9 pups in size. Regurgitation of pieces of meat is used to provide food for pups once they have been weaned.

In captivity they are normally fed a diet of commercially available chicken, beef , camel meat and various locally available fruits once a day. A small portion of dog biscuits is scattered around the enclosure in the mornings and helps to stimulate foraging behaviour.

Blanford's Fox

Blanford's FoxBlanford's Fox alias royal or king fox alias the cliff fox alias the Baluchistan fox alias the black fox, alias the hoary fox was heavily hunted for its skin. The Conservation status on this specie holds: Endangered - CITES Appendix II. Living in mountainous regions with the preference for cliffs it can be found throughout Arabia from north western Saudi Arabia to Yemen and Oman in the south and the United Arab Emirates in the east.

The thick, soft fur, large eyes and ears and round face together with the manner of walking and demeanour gives the Blanford's a feline appearance. Their colour is variable, usually Black, grey and white, depending on the region and the summer coat is lighter en thinner then the winter coat. The face has a mask due to the dark eyes with black tear-stripes surrounded by broad white margins.

The Blanford's Fox is a small fox weighing between 0.9 - 1.3 kilograms with a body length of 40 - 50 centimetres of which the tail covers about 33- 41 centimetres. The bushy tail is predominately grey with long, black guard hairs with either a white or black tip. Short slim legs provide an approximate standing height of 26 - 28 centimetres and their delicate claws and pads refer to their habitat. Activity is mainly nocturnal and because they do not dig their own dens, to spend the day in, they will make use of natural rock crevices.

A delicately tapered muzzle and dental structure suggests that they feed primarily on insects, rodents and lizards, which can be caught on the surface. Evidence suggests that they largely are insectivores, feeding predominantly on locusts. Fruit, when in season, constitute a large percentage of their diet. In captivity their diet consists of fruits, birds, small mammals and insects.

At 1 year of age they reach sexual maturity and the females can give birth to a litter of 2 - 4 pups after a gestation period of 51 - 55 days. The litter will be suckled for 6 to 8 weeks after which they will be weaned and eat the same diet as their parents.

Blanford's have longevity around 5 years. At the Breeding Centre we had an old female called Scrunch. Sadly, she died mid July, but reached an estimated age of almost 7 years. She was wild caught and arrived at the breeding Centre in January 1999. At that time she was estimated at about 2 to 3 years of age.

Rueppell's Sand Fox

Sand fox (Kevin Budd)Vulpus rueppellii or as we call them Rueppell's Fox or Sand Fox is the third fox species hold at Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife Sharjah. On the Arabian Peninsula the fox is confined to the arid steppe and desert regions and ranges eastwards to the Persian Baluchistan and Afghanistan. In general these species is found in the deserts of northern Africa, from southern Algeria, Libya and Egypt to Sudan, Somaliland and Asben.

This elegant desert fox is considerably smaller than the Red Fox. Their external form is very similar, but with larger ears, in relation to the size of the head. The Sand fox is pale in colour, a light greyish coat, but varies from region to region. Foxes in Egypt and Sudan have a buffy yellow colour on the flanks.
The body length is between 40 - 52 centimetres and the tail length is 20-30 centimetres. Standing up to 25 to 30 of height, they weigh approximately 2 to 3 kilograms.

This nocturnal animal with it's small claws, soft pads and short thin legs is suggested not to be a digger and therefore will have to make use of natural cervices and caves for cover. Living Solitary or in family groups the female can give birth to a litter of 3 till 6 pups, after a gestation period of 51 -53 days. Weaning period for the pups is around 6 till 8 weeks. Their diet in the wild consists of a large variation of small mammals, birds, insects, carrion and fruits.

Striped Hyaena

Striped HyaenaThe Striped Hyaena (Hyaena hyaena) is a medium sized carnivore with a dog like build. The back slopes from the well-developed forequarters to the less developed hindquarters. The legs, especially the forelegs, are long and slender, the feet completely digitigrade with only four toes on each. The claws are short, blunt and non-retractile. Well developed neck muscles support a large head; the ears are tall and narrow with blunt points and the muzzle is mainly naked with a large black rhinarium. The general body colour is tawny yellow in colour and the fur is coarse in texture. The summer coat is rather thin, giving them a mangy appearance.
A series of vertical black stripes commence at the front of the shoulders and extend to the rump. The outer surfaces of the legs are barred with a series of irregular bands variably broken up into spots or blotches. A long crest like erectile mane, with black hairs predominating, extends from the base of the head to the root of the tail. On the central throat there is a prominent patch that extends upwards and outwards on the sides of the neck. The tail is short and bushy; and is a mixture of black and tawny yellow in colour. Immediately beneath the anus the Striped Hyaena has a large glandular pouch, with which it marks its territory by pasting the anal gland secretions onto grass or other objects.
The Striped Hyaena is not cites listed, but is recognized by the IUCN as vulnerable. The local medicine trades, eating of poisoned bait and trapping by Bedouin are all threats which the Striped Hyaena faces.

Striped Hyaenas are believed to have small territories around their breeding dens, which are surrounded by large home ranges. A female radio tracked in Palestine was found to have a home range of more than 60 sq km. In captivity they are known to deliver two litters throughout the year. The gestation is 90 to 100 days and litters of two to four young are born in a burrow excavated by the female. The young open their eyes after 5-9 days, first take solid food at 30 days and nurse until they are 4-5 months old. Food is brought to the den for the young. Although they are predominantly scavengers, they are also known to occasionally kill weak or vulnerable animals. Their wide-ranging diet also includes insects, reptiles, refuse and fruit such as dates and melons.

The life span of striped Hyaena in captivity is 23 to 24 years. They have a range of characteristic calls, but vocalization is minimal. However when threatened they will roar with their mane erect. Striped Hyaenas are known to occur in Africa from Morocco through to Kenya and Tanzania, in Afghanistan, India and Nepal. In Arabia, they occur in Oman, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately due to its persecution in the United Arab Emirates there have been no confirmed sightings for many years. They prefer open or rocky country, also occurring along the coast where it scavenges along the tide lines