Section 11
Chapter 10,426

Demography of foxes in central-western New South Wales, Australia

Saunders, G.; Mcilroy, J.; Kay, B.; Gifford, E.; Berghout, M.; Van, D.V.n, R.

Mammalia 66(2): 247-257


ISSN/ISBN: 0025-1461
DOI: 10.1515/mamm.2002.66.2.247
Accession: 010425318

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Immunocontraception, as a form of fertility control, is being developed as an alternative strategy to lethal control in Australian red fox (Vulpes vulpes) populations. This study reports on life table parameters which are required to refine models used to predict the likely outcomes of this strategy. A total of 264 males and 270 females were collected over the two years of this study. Foxes were aged using sequential deposition of cementum annuli. Of the 270 females, 178 were pregnant and of these 14 were not able to be aged and 7 had resorbed litters. Spotlight counts on two uncontrolled sites suggested that the rate of increase was not significantly different from zero making it unnecessary to apply correction factors to sampled age frequencies. Life tables for the sampled populations in both years are presented. Mortality rate (qx) for female foxes in the first year of life was high (0.7) while only 8% of adults survived past six years. Survival rate (px) was greatest in years 2-5 which were also the years of greatest reproductive output.

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