The relationship between hunting methods and sex, age and body weight in a non-trophy animal, the red fox

Tryjanowski, Piotr; Sparks, Tim H.; Kamieniarz, Robert; Panek, Marek. 2009 The relationship between hunting methods and sex, age and body weight in a non-trophy animal, the red fox. Wildlife Research, 36 (2). 106-109.

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Recently, hunting has represented a major source of mortality in game animals, including red fox, Vulpes vulpes, populations. Data from hunting studies have been used to explain evolutionary changes (body size, dental structure) in fox populations; however, knowledge of potential sources of bias in these kinds of data is lacking. Moreover, nature and game managers as well as conservationists have recently been seeking methods to limit European fox populations, which are increasing. In the present study in Polish farmland, we show that three different hunting methods (individual – lying in wait, with dogs at dens, with beating undergrowth toflush out foxes) resulted in differences in the age, sex ratio and body size of shot foxes. Taking account of seasonal differences in hunting methods used, shooting assisted by beating gave a higher proportion of male foxes, whereas individual hunting resulted in smaller foxes in shot samples. Hunting with dogs resulted in heavier female foxes, with the results being skewed towards females. Thus, this method may help limit the breeding capacity of a population and is recommended to assist in the control of red fox populations, at least in farmland areas.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biodiversity > CC01A Detection and Attribution of Change in UK and European Ecosystems > CC01.3 UK Phenology Network
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Pywell
ISSN: 1035-3712
NORA Subject Terms: Zoology
Biology and Microbiology
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 18 May 2009 14:34 +0 (UTC)

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