Mammals of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Gray Fox - Urocyon cinereoargenteus
Canidae Members:
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Photo by: John Kelley, Wayne Hardesty
Distribution In NC, it occurs statewide, almost certainly in all 100 counties.

Occurs from extreme southern Canada nearly throughout the United States, south into Mexico.
Abundance Generally common (to locally very common on some islands) throughout the Coastal Plain and Piedmont, at least for a moderately large mammal. Less numerous in the mountains, though at least fairly common in the lower elevations, but uncommon in the higher mountains, and rare to absent above 4,000 feet. It is often quite numerous on large barrier islands. Note that the iNaturalist website contains photos for at least a third of the counties in the state, and the editors have not taken the time to update the map with "Photo" records/documentation unless the county had previously no known records (white on the map).
Seasonal Occurrence Occurs year-round, and active at all seasons.
Habitat Generally within extensive forests, or forests mixed with brushy fields and clearcuts. Wooded areas can be wetlands or uplands, but bottomland forests are preferred. The forests should have moderate to dense cover, such as rock outcroppings or thickets. They forage in forests as well as in fields, and will forage around wooded residential areas, as well.
See also Habitat Account for General Mixed Habitats
Behavior The species is primarily nocturnal in its activity, and is not often seen by the public during daylight hours.
Comments Gray Foxes have apparently increased in the state in recent decades, as they are seemingly adapting to wooded residential areas. They are more frequently seen than Red Foxes, even though the latter species occurs in more open country than does the Gray Fox. Sadly, it is not unusual to see road-killed Gray Foxes anywhere in the state, even on city streets (in residential areas).
Origin Native
NC List Official
State Rank S5
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
subspecies Urocyon cinereoargenteus cinereoargenteus
other_comName Common Gray Fox
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all database records for species in that county.