Bulletin 10 - March 1980: Red Foxes



Red Foxes

By P. Dickinson and C. Furley*

Six Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes arabica) were snared and measured at Al Ain Zoo during December and January before release. The following results were obtained:

Date

Sex

Weight

Nose-tail

Shoulder

Hindfoot

Ear length

Ear width

17.12.79 M 8 lb. 985mm 370mm 140mm 110mm 70mm
18.12.79 M 8.5 lb. 980mm 360mm 130mm 100mm 75mm
20.12.79 M 7 lb. 940mm 375mm 132mm 104mm 80mm
9.1.80 F 7 lb. 955mm 348mm 126mm 105mm 85mm
11.1.80 M 8 lb., 2 oz 930mm 350mm 135mm 105mm 82mm
26.1.80 F 9 lb., 7 oz 935mm 370mm 135mm 105mm 85mm

In addition, fecal samples were obtained from each fox and the proglottids of a cestode were demonstrated in all samples. The intermediate host for this tapeworm may become easier to determine when the tapeworm is identified. Maggots were also found in three out of the five foxes, indicating that the consumption of carrion was likely, and that this source of food material may well be important in maintaining the Red Fox population in this area. The remains of undigested feathers, together with the maggots, was interesting as this feature may possibly mean that it is the population of pigeons and doves, etc., and not small mammals upon which the foxes rely. Further research is necessary. All the foxes were caught at night as they tried to enter the zoo grounds.

The authors would be very interested to hear of any other captured carnivores in the UAE.

* Peter Dickinson is Zoological Curator and Chris Furley veterinarian at Al Ain Zoo.


 


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