Detection of the Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) at Low Population Density

Since the recent introduction of the European red fox (Vulpes vulpes) to Tasmania, an urgent need has arisen to detect populations while they are still at low densities so that control measures can be implemented. However, detection and enumeration of rare and cryptic animals presents a particularly difficult challenge. Standard methods of surveying foxes involve observations of signs or spotlighting, although these can be inconclusive, influenced by extrinsic factors, or inefficient at low densities. Recently developed techniques such as remote photography and molecular genotyping have proved successful in monitoring a range of elusive and rare species.

We experimentally evaluated the effectiveness of spotlighting, camera trapping and genotyping of scats and hair follicles collected from bait stations in detecting a known number of radio-collared foxes. These collared foxes were considered the only foxes on our study site, and thus functioned as a virtual low-density population.

Author Vine, S., Crowther, M., Dickman, C., Lapidge, S., Mooney, N. and English, A.
Date 2005-05-02
Year 2005
Secondary title 13th Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference
Place published Wellington, NZ
Publisher Landcare Research
Pages 87-88
Region TAS
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