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Can foxes climb trees?

Last Reviewed and Updated on June 25, 2022

It is not uncommon to spot a fox on a tree that has fallen down or even on a tree branch. They are after all excellent jumpers. But can foxes climb trees? Are they able to climb up the trunk instead of just jumping from one part of the tree to another? The answer to these questions is an interesting one.

The ability to climb trees

The ability to climb trees isn’t something to be taken for granted. Whenever there is a habitat where trees are present, there are animal species that have adapted to scale them. Some do it occasionally, while others live almost exclusively on trees. Many animals naturally don’t have the ability to climb trees.

Different species have different adaptations that allow them to be successful climbers, depending on their environment (not all vegetation is the same) and their lifestyle (the need to move from tree to tree, diet…).

Some of the common adaptations are, longer limbs, prehensile tails, claws, adhesive paws or gripping hands…

Can foxes climb trees?

Foxes are canines. Canine species include foxes, wolves, jackals, dog species, and some other species. They aren’t really known for their climbing abilities. In fact, a grand majority of members can’t climb.

None of the dogs can climb, none of the wolves can, and none of the jackals can. Many can jump on trees, but none can truly climb them.

Raccoon dogs, part of the genus Nyctereutes, in the canine family are capable of climbing. There are only two species of raccoon dogs.

So where do the foxes stand when it comes to scaling trees? Can foxes climb trees? The answer is most fox species can’t climb trees. One species, however, the gray fox, can!

The Gray fox can climb trees

While no other species of foxes are capable of tree climbing, the Gray fox has the ability to climb the trees. It is the only canine, besides raccoon dogs, that has the ability to scale trees.

Unlike other foxes, the Gray fox has rotating wrists and partially retractable claws. In this sense, they are quite similar to many felines.

This adaptation allows the Gray fox to climb the trees and it can climb them pretty effectively.

Find foxes fascinating? Learn more interesting facts about foxes.

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