The Tibetan Sand Fox lives at high altitudes in and around the Tibetan Plateau and thrives in mountainous grasslands and deserts. Some of the countries where the Sand Fox is found is Bhutan, Nepal and China.
The Tibetan Sand Fox is distinguishable because of it’s large, box-shaped head. Coupled with it’s small ears, it has an almost comical and out of proportion appearance. The foxes usually have white tips at the ends of their tails with a pale white underbelly and an reddish-grey coloured fur and weigh approximately 4-5kgs.
When they find a mate, they are monogamous and the male and females share hunting and raising the cubs between them. The Tibetan Sand Foxes are also know to be relatively relaxed about living in close quarters to other fox families, making them less territorial than other fox varieties. A typical litter of Tibetan Sand Foxes is between 2-4 cubs and they are brought up in a den, which may have several entrances and be secluded by a boulder or a crevice. The Tibetan Sand Fox cubs will be ready to fend for themselves aged 8-10 months and will go off to hunt and make families of their own.
Humans and disease are the main threats to the Tibetan Fox. Humans hunting the foxes are not really a problem because the Tibetan Fox’s fur is too rough and coarse to be of any great value. Dogs quite commonly attack the foxes and also some governments in the region have taken to culling great numbers of pikas, which has arguably impacted on them. In certain areas of China, the Tibetan Sand Fox is heavily affected by different forms of tapeworm which can cause disease such as alveola hydatid disease and echinococcus.
All in all, not too much is known about the Tibetan Sand Fox and it is rumoured that the BBC programme Planet Earth (shown in 2006) was actually the first time these foxes had ever been filmed. Obviously more studies need to go into the Tibetan Fox in order to build a better picture of it’s behavioural habits.