Date of Award

Summer 7-11-1972

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

School of Renewable Natural Resources

First Advisor

Newsom, John D.

Second Advisor

Glasgow, L. L.

Third Advisor

Crow, A. B.

Abstract

The primary study objective was to determine the daily activities of red foxes on agricultural habitat It was also hoped to learn something of the fox's foo preferences and predation on quail, rabbits, deer, an poultry. Information was also desired on optimum met ods of capture, the incidence of rabies, and the use Tranimul and Sernyl as immobilizing drugs. Fifteen red foxes (Vulpes fulva) were trapped during late winter on Louisiana State University property near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Six foxes were equipped with radio transmitters and their movements were monitored by means of portable VHF radio receivers and hand-held antennas. One adult female ranged over an area of 1,000 acres, while a male pup confined his movements to only 40 acres. All animals under study retired to the shade of heavy cover within two hours after sunrise and were inactive until late afternoon. Little opportunity was had to study the effects of inclement weather on the activity patterns of these animals. Radio performance was considered to be poor throughout the study, with maximum distance of depenable signal reception limited to only about O.) mile. Field observations indicate that the local red fox eats cottontail rabbits, small rodents, beetles, birds, was found. Very few deer and no poultry were available to the foxes. Steel traps proved to be by far the most effective method of capturing foxes, though the animal may severely injure himself in his struggles. The area has no recent history of rabies, and none of the animals studied displayed any symptoms of this disease. One adult female died during handling of what was later diagnosed as distemper and pneumonia. Close proximity to men engaged in cattle ranching appears to have no adverse effects on the red fox.

Included in

Life Sciences Commons

Share

COinS