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Circadian activity patterns of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in montane forests under different culling regimes

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ARTICLE DOWNLOAD

Circadian activity patterns of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in montane forests under different culling regimes

10$

Jim-Lino Kämmerle, Suzon Rondeaux & Ilse Storch 

Abstract

Mammals display a great variety of activity patterns. Although red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are generally well studied, differences in their activity patterns related to seasonality and anthropogenic impacts remain not well known. Hunting is a major anthropogenic influence on fox populations across the globe. In this paper, we assess how circadian activity patterns of red foxes in a central European montane forest change throughout the year and test whether activity patterns differ between areas with different culling regimes. We found pronounced activity peaks around dawn and particularly dusk and high levels of activity throughout the night. Foxes generally avoided daylight hours, except in wintertime, potentially indicating an avoidance of human presence. The onset and cessation of activity tracked changes in day length. Circadian activity patterns were highly similar at sites with and without targeted culls during all seasons, not suggesting a direct reaction of red foxes to hunting. Red fox activity patterns in our study were thus overall comparable with those in other environmental contexts.

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Year 2020
Language English
Format PDF
DOI 10.1007/s13364-020-00496-w