Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Counting Foxes Before The Last Tally-ho

Date:
August 24, 2004
Source:
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Summary:
As the government promises an imminent ban on hunting, researchers have produced the first scientifically-based population estimate for foxes living in Britain. Their results show that the number of foxes has remained constant despite changes in culling methods.

As the government promises an imminent ban on hunting, researchers have produced the first scientifically-based population estimate for foxes living in Britain. Their results show that the number of foxes has remained constant despite changes in culling methods.

Related Articles


The study, published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology and funded by the International Fund For Animal Welfare (IFAW), shows that at the end of winter there are 225,000 adult foxes living in rural Britain, with a further 33,000 in urban areas.

This study has provided baseline data against which the impact of a ban on hunting with dogs can be measured.

A team of scientists and volunteers led by Professor Stephen Harris, from the University of Bristol, counted fox faeces in more than 400 one-kilometre squares across Britain. This information was combined with estimates of the number of faeces a fox produces each day, and with the proportion of faeces that can be found during field surveys, to produce the final population numbers.

Previous attempts to estimate Britain's fox population, using far less precise methods, gave a figure of 252,000 adult foxes in 1981 and 240,000 in 1995, compared to the new figure of 258,000 in 1999/2000. This suggests that, contrary to claims made by the hunting lobby, there has been no change in fox numbers over the past quarter of a century.

Professor Harris said: "This study found that fox numbers were more heavily influenced by habitat features than by the number of foxes killed by people. This suggests that there is no reason to expect fox numbers to rise when hunting is banned."

By itself, the survey does not show whether fox numbers would increase if people stopped hunting them. However another study, funded by IFAW and the RSPCA and published in Nature, showed that there was no change in fox numbers when hunting was suspended for nearly a year during the foot and mouth epidemic in 2001.

IFAW campaigner Josey Sharrad, said: "This research demolishes arguments by the hunting lobby that foxes need to be killed to prevent a population explosision. It will also allow us to monitor the impact of a ban on this cruel sport."

Foxes emerged as the nation's favourite land mammal in an NOP poll conducted in 2000. It has been estimated that between 20,000 and 25,000 foxes are killed by hunting with dogs in Britain every year, with some 100,000 dying on our roads.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. "Counting Foxes Before The Last Tally-ho." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 August 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040820082640.htm>.
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. (2004, August 24). Counting Foxes Before The Last Tally-ho. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040820082640.htm
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. "Counting Foxes Before The Last Tally-ho." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040820082640.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) The Galapagos tortoise has made a stupendous recovery from the brink of extinction to a population of more than 1,000. But it still faces threats. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Oatmeal Healthy Recipes and Benefits

Oatmeal Healthy Recipes and Benefits

Buzz60 (Oct. 29, 2014) Oatmeal is a fantastic way to start your day. Whichever way you prepare them, oats provide your body with many health benefits. In celebration of National Oatmeal Day, Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has a few recipe ideas, and tips on how to kickstart your day with this wholesome snack! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins