Adaptation of red fox to an environment with high traffic density
|density; factor analysis; Forestry; hunting bag; red fox; traffic area; VULPES-VULPES
|BLACKWELL WISSENSCHAFTS-VERLAG GMBH
Investigated was the distribution and density of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes L.) based on records of numbers shot and capture in a 4.4 million ha hunting ground territory, consisting of 43 districts and 29 townships in North-West Germany. For the 1989/90 hunting season, the density of red foxes killed per 1,000 ha hunting area was mapped. A second map presents the immense increase in density with variations in proportions until the 1996/97 season. From this territory, 28 to townships and 7 districts with the highest density of roads, highways and railways were compiled for mathematical analyses. From the 1989/90 season to 1998/99, the yearly fox bag with five land use variables corresponding to the 35 districts was correlated by principal components analyses. For final results, a factor matrix with two reliable component systems was established. The values of the first determinant system, originating over a period of 10 years, were put together in six time-rows. These show that the curves of woodland und traffic areas as well as that of the foxes show predominant valuations. Both curves of land use show variations in trend. Since 1994/95, the effect of woodland on fox density has decreased, whereas the effect of traffic areas has increased for the same period of time. From 1989/90 to 1998/99, the curves of arable land show increasing effects while the foxes were conquering habitat, whereas the correlations with pasture land show a decreasing determination in the ecological web of factors.
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