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.

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 July 31, 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 July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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