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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Monday, February 1, 2016

The University of Prince Edward Island, Canada has been studying urban Red Fox behaviour over the past two years............And just like their cousins, the domestic dog, Foxes have been found to come onto peoples driveways and porches and steal newspapers for use in den making...........The increased visibility of the province’s fox population has happened rapidly........... Eastern Coyotes began colonizing the island in the 1970's, using the ice pack to cross the Northumberland Strait during the winter............... While the Coyotes and the Foxes enjoy the same habitat and enjoy many of the same food sources(sympatric species), the much larger coyotes have pushed the Foxes in close to human habitation where they find hiding places to stay clear of the Coyotes............. As seems to always be the case, some Islanders fear that coyotes may pose a threat to their children and pets, wanting to see the coyotes trapped and killed................... As we know so well from all that we have read on this blog and from other sources, biologists continue to come out against killing Coyotes, showing evidence after evidence that placing a bounty on the animals will not be effective, and create even larger populations of this adaptive canid.............., Ultimately, Island residents will have to get used to life with coyotes................ By extension, Islanders will have to get used to the new position of foxes

Foxes steal newspapers just like a dog would, says researcher

Foxes likely trying to build dens, says UPEI biology professor

CBC News Posted: Jan 31, 2016 8:00 AM AT Last Updated: Jan 31, 2016 8:00 AM A

If your newspaper is mysteriously going missing, you might want to check the nearby snow for pawprints. The culprit might be a fox.
Foxes behave similarly to dogs, and have been known to steal newspapers, shoes and toys.
An elementary school in Stratford, P.E.I., set up a surveillance camera after newspapers started going missing, and found a fox making off with the bundle of papers seconds after they were delivered.
Foxes likely steal newspapers to build their dens, said UPEI biology professor Marina Silva-Opps.
"They soon will be having young ones, and they need to make sure the dens are solid and warm enough and dry enough for the young," she told Maritime Noon.
sleeping fox
Mark Keizer found this sleeping fox enjoying the early morning sun in Mermaid, P.E.I. (Submitted by Mark Keizer)
"They are intelligent, they are very opportunistic ... Once they find a resource that is interesting, they can remember and they can come back to that resource again."
It's not just P.E.I. foxes who are quick to snatch papers.
Melissa Gray fox photo PEI
Melissa Gray of Morell snapped this fluffy fox in Savage Harbour, P.E.I. (Submitted by Melissa Gray)
Robert Taylor lives in Vienna, Va., and noticed extra papers showing up in his backyard. He eventually figured out the source after spotting  a fox walking with newspapers in its mouth.
"I actually had to put a sign in my front yard that said, 'If you're missing your newspapers don't blame the postman. It's a fox.'"
Silva-Opps said she's heard stories of foxes stealing wallets, shoes and even childrens' toys.
"Foxes are like our dogs. We have a dog at home, and she is always stealing shoes and socks."

UPEI urban fox researcher planning project's next step

Researchers trying to raise money to pay for GPS collars, wildlife cameras

The success of a project launched last fall to track the Island’s urban red foxes has a University of Prince Edward Island researcher planning the next stage.
UPEI biology professor Marina Silva-Opps and a few graduate students set up a website last fall to study the movements and habits of urban foxes through sightings logged by Islanders.
The response was overwhelming.

"People were also sending us pictures and comments, and it was a very impressive response from the public. We asked the help from the public and people have been amazing. We've had over 1000 sightings so far," said Silva-Opps.
The results she and her team obtained showed some clear trends.
More than half of reports were of urban fox sightings in Charlottetown, many of them in specific sites such as the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the Belvedere Golf Club, and in the Lewis Point area.
Archie MacFadyen, who lives in the Lewis Point area, said he sees foxes about as often as he sees his neighbours. Though he admits the foxes are much bolder.
"On a day like today, you can look out your back door and see them sunbathing in your backyard.  I've seen that on many occasions," he said.
Golfer Art Hartley said he has had a run in or two with the furry spectators out on the green.
"If it goes into the sand trap, they'll take the ball. But if it doesn't go in there, they won't touch it," he said, chuckling.
Now that the researchers have a good idea about where red foxes are most often sighted, the next step is to track their movements and behaviour throughout the day.
The team plans to set up wildlife cameras, as well as attached GPS tracking collars to a few foxes in order to more closely follow their routines.
Silva-Opps said she wants to know what urban foxes are eating and better understand how they’re adapting to life in the city.
"Knowing more about which resources they use and where they go, is information that is important when you want to eventually manage the population," she said.
She’s hoping that Islanders also have an interest in the research and has set up a website to help pay for the pricey cameras and GPS collars.
A GPS collar costs about $2,500 dollars, and each camera costs about $400 to $500.
The more money researchers raise, said Silva-Opps, the more they’ll be able to learn about urban red foxes.

Red fox in P.E.I. National Park, 2015

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