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Dispersal and Mortality of Red Foxes

R. L. Phillips, R. D. Andrews, G. L. Storm and R. A. Bishop
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 36, No. 2 (Apr., 1972), pp. 237-248
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3799056
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3799056
Page Count: 12
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Dispersal and Mortality of Red Foxes
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Abstract

During the period from 1963 to 1968, 926 red foxes (Vulpes fulva) were captured at dens, ear-tagged, and released at the points of capture in Iowa and Illinois. Tag returns from 367 marked foxes provided data concerning dispersal and mortality. Some juveniles apparently begin to disperse from the natal area in late September and early October. The average straight-line distances between release sites and recovery sites were 18.4 miles and 6.2 miles for 171 juvenile males and 124 juvenile females, respectively. Fourteen juvenile males and one juvenile female were recovered more than 50 miles from their natal ranges. Locations of recaptures were not randomly distributed (P < 0.05) with respect to direction of travel. The Mississippi River appears to act as a barrier to foxes that disperse on either side of it in Iowa and Illinois. Hunting and trapping accounted for about 80 percent of the mortality of the foxes recovered in this study. Annual recovery rates for tagged foxes ranged from 22 to 44 percent in Iowa and from 18 to 35 percent in Illinois. Vulnerability of foxes to hunting appears to be interrelated with snow cover and land use in local areas.

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