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Citation. Phillips, R. L.; Andrews, R. D.; Storm, G. L.; Bishop, R. A. 1972. Dispersal and mortality of red foxes. Journal of Wildlife Management 36(2):237-248. [1467 CC]
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 provide 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 distance 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.
Keywords. red fox, Vulpes vulpes, tagging, dispersal, mortality