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Bat-eared Fox

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Peter Betts
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Re: Bat eared fox in Kruger

Unread post by Peter Betts » Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:38 pm

Penny wrote:Whilst browsing through todays sightings on the webcam I noticed that it was posted that a possible id to one of the night pics was that of a bat eared fox. I in fact do believe that Siva was right and that this was in fact a hare BUT elsewhere in the thread it is clearly stated that bat eared foxes do NOT occur in KNP whereas in fact they most definitely DO occur and apparently in growing numbers! They are fairly common in the eastland grassland plains as well as the Mopani scrub savanna North of the Letaba River. Although their Southern limit is slightly further North than Satara it is feasible that they could be seen in this area.


Bat eared foxes and Brown Hyena occur in Kruger
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MarkWildDog
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Unread post by MarkWildDog » Wed Aug 30, 2006 3:46 pm

Yup. They are found in KNP. Between Mopani & Punda Maria area. :wink:

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Unread post by christo » Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:55 pm

Now that we know the books say they are there, who has got proof, as in photo's?

It would be interesting to see who has had the privilage!
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Unread post by MarkWildDog » Sat Nov 18, 2006 7:03 pm

Wild about cats wrote:Almost three months and still no proof... :?


They are extremely rare WAC, one of the rarest in KNP, they are found marginally in Mopani/ Shingwedzi & Punda Maria areas, maybe you'll see on eon your trip? :lol:

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Unread post by MarkWildDog » Sun Nov 19, 2006 10:30 am

Wild about cats wrote::D Then I really hope I see one....
Can you believe, not even Nico has seen one :shock: :wink:


They aren't like Impala WAC, if you read the Trip Reports forum, you'll see they are extremely rare, one of the rarest in KNP, their estimated population is around 150 in KNP. You should go to KTP & WCNP they are easier to spot there.
Last edited by MarkWildDog on Sun Nov 19, 2006 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Liam
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Bat-eared Fox

Unread post by Liam » Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:16 pm

The Bat-eared Fox is a canid of the African savanna. It is named after its huge ears. Bat-eared Foxes have tawny fur, their ears, legs and parts of the face are black. They are 55 cm in length (head and body), their ears are 13 cm long. It is the only species in the genus Otocyon.

The teeth of the Bat-eared Fox are much smaller than teeth of other canid species. This is an adaptation to their insectivorous diet. 80% of the diet consists of insects. Bat-eared Foxes visit termite hills, follow locust swarms or stay close to herds of zebras or antelopes in order to feed on the insects landing on their excrements. In addition to insects, Bat-eared Foxes eat rodents, birds and eggs, and sometimes fruits.

Bat-eared Foxes are nocturnal animals that live in small groups consisting of a couple and their young. The pairs live in dens and raise the pups (two to five) together. Mated pairs are very social and are monagamous, although it is unknown if they mate for life.

Due to their unusual teeth, Bat-eared Foxes were once considered as a distinct subfamily of canids (Otocyoninae). However, according to more recent examinations, they are closely related to the true foxes of the genus Vulpes. Other research places the genus as an outgroup which is not very closely related to foxes. The Bat-eared Fox is an old species that was widely distributed in the Pleistocene era. In that time, it even lived in parts of West and South Asia.

There are three subspecies.

Otocyon megalotis megalotis - South Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa

Otocyon megalotis virgatus - Tanzania, Kenya

Otocyon megalotis canescens - Ethiopia, Somalia

From Wikipedia

Does anyone know if they occur in Kruger and where they are found in the park. Pics would be nice. :)
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Unread post by Elsa » Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:25 pm

Liam, are far as I know and can remember they do not occur in Kruger, but I stand to be corrected. :?
They are in fact a regular sighting in the Kgalagadi tho and we had lovely views of them from the Nossob hide at night foraging below. :D
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Unread post by Peter Betts » Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:23 pm

adw wrote:hi Elsa / Liam, The bat eared fox was first spotted in the KNP just north of Shingwedzi sometime in 1966. They are resident now in the northern section of the park but are rarely seen. Your best chance would be on a night drive. I have never seen one in the KNP.


That is correct I was a schoolboy camping at Shingwedzi at the time when a speciman was found but have heard of no records ever since...rather like White Lions, King Cheetah,Brown Hyena in Kruger and Impala in Kalagadi ...they have been sighted before but not for a long time as far as I know but like Elsa I stand to be corrected
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Unread post by p@m » Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:55 pm

You can also see them in West Coast National Park !

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Unread post by adw » Wed Jan 02, 2008 6:04 pm

I have done some further research on this animal and in the book 'Field Guide to the Mammals of the Kruger National Park by U. De V Pienaar (1987) it is stated that the bat eared fox was first spotted in March 1967 14 km south of Shingwedzi when a group of 6 were seen during the night by a Parks Board Official. It goes on to say 'since then these animals have become firmly established on the eastern grasslands plains and mopane scrub savannah north of the Letaba river. The (then) southern limit of their range in the park appears to be in the area of the Malopenyana windmill and the northern limit is Pafuri.'
Maybe a Parks board official can give us an update on their status in the KNP>
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Re: Bat-eared Fox

Unread post by onewithnature » Wed Dec 24, 2008 3:45 am

I've never heard of recent sightings in Kruger, though Kgalagadi is certainly a favoured spot for seeing them. I was amazed when I saw them last time there, every car that was following me driving past without stopping. Perhaps the average bush-visiting homosapien is becoming less observant, more hurried, less patient, and more urbanised, and less appreciative?
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Re: Bat-eared Fox

Unread post by o-dog » Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:14 am

Saw 13 Bat Eared Foxes in 2 groups at WCNP (Postberg open area near Tsarbank) on the 2nd Jan 09. One group of 5 at distance and then 3 adults with 5 real youngsters probably foraging for the first time.
They were being admired by a large Caracal relaxing in the open area as well!
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Re: Bat-eared Fox

Unread post by Mgulube » Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:46 am

I truly believe that you will find these cuties in the far northern area of kruger (Pafuri and Punda area.)

The reason for me making this statement is that we reside close to Pafuri, and in our own private reserve we often spot these guys. And no animal is bounded by border fences. So if we have them, i can garuantee you that KNP WILL have them as well.

You just need to understand that they are very shy and elusive creatures. That' maybe why visitors rarely see them

But they are damn cute :D
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Re: Bat-eared Fox

Unread post by Mike1916 » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:18 pm

Next time i am up in the far northern part of the part i hope i will get a glimpse of these cute little creatures! :D :D
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Re: Bat-eared Fox

Unread post by Mgulube » Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:14 am

Yes Richprins, that's the place!!

One night we were out on a "not-so-official-gamedrive" and saw 23 Bat-eared Foxes in a matter of 30min! We couldn't believe our luck!

Untill we realized that we had been driving around in circles, and it was the same guys we saw every time :redface: :redface: :redface:
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