Fennec fox conservation project in North Africa
Species name: FENNEC FOX
Scientific name: Vulpes zerda
Region: North Africa
Project website: www.saharaconservation.org
Fennec foxes are the smallest foxes in the world. They amaze in every way! They live in the Sahara desert in extremely tough conditions, where the temperature during the day exceeds 40 degrees, and at night it can drop below 0 degrees. They adapted to these harsh conditions in many ways. They are active at dawn and dusk. Large ears facilitate their thermoregulation, and the long hair between the pads allows them to navigate on hot sand and rocks. Since the Sahara is poor in food, they are not picky. Although they are predators and hunt rodents, lizards and snakes with remarkable agility, they do not despise plant food.
Despite their outstanding adaptation to harsh living conditions, fennec foxes cannot defend themselves against two new threats! Climate change is increasingly affecting North Africa. The most recent threat is poaching and the illegal trade in these animals. Fennec foxes often find their way to Europe, Asia, and America as pets, AND THEY ARE NOT PETS! They are beautiful wild animals of the Sahara Desert that need our help! They suffer as pets in human homes and, despite their beautiful appearance, cause their owners more problems than joy. Their concentrated urine (adaptation to life in the desert) has a very nasty and intense smell, fennec foxes don’t like strangers, so they attack them, they cannot be fed dog food, so ensuring a proper diet is very expensive and difficult.
Dodo Foundation and Wrocław Zoo (which runs fennec foxes breeding program in European zoos) are launching a research, conservation and environmental education project in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. In Europe, we are focusing on the action: NO FOR KEEPING WILD ANIMALS AT HOME!