Monday, January 29, 2007

Red fox

Red fox, originally uploaded by mossglenphoto.

From NH Public Radio:

Reputed to be fierce predators, those who know red foxes best say they are, in fact, extremely cautious, very smart, and always opportunistic. Foxes will eat almost anything, from fruits to insects to garbage to their preferred prey, rodents. A fox's ear is especially well-adapted for hearing the tiny feet of mice, voles and shrews as they scurry about underground. Therefore, one benefit of having more foxes nearby is a definite drop in rodent levels.

Some people react unfavorably, of course, to the idea that this pointy-faced predator may be moving under their porch. They worry about their pets, or even their children. But most biologists believe a healthy fox will avoid any confrontation that they cannot win easily. And after all, a red fox rarely weighs more than 15 pounds. And while foxes do sometimes carry rabies, at the moment this terrible disease seems to have abated.

So, if you see a fox around during the day, it isn't necessarily a bad thing. Vixens, or female foxes, will often be about when they have young, for example.

For more information, see the article on the NH Fish and Wildlife website by Eric P. Orff, Certified Wildlife Biologist or an article by NH Public Television.

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