Worcestershire Record No. 5 Nov 1998 p. 19


In conjunction with the Mammal Society and BBC Wildlife Magazine Researchers at the University of Bristol are planning a national survey of the rural fox population, to take place during February and March 1999. They are currently looking for people willing to take part in the survey. Volunteers will be asked to walk along all linear features (e.g. hedgerows, banks, walls) within a 1x1km square, collecting and recording the position of any fox scats. This needs to be done twice within a 2-4 week period. Observers will also be asked to record the habitat types within the square, and the position and size of badger setts and rabbit warrens.

Volunteers are also needed to help with collection of scats throughout the year, and with the collection of fox carcasses. Analysis of the scats enable researchers to work out population levels and to find out what foxes are eating

Help is also needed with bait-marking trials. The researchers have a machine which produces sausages irresistible to foxes containing harmless plastic chips. If you are feeding wild foxes they would like you to feed them special sausages for a while!. They will then visit you and search for the marked scats. The results will help work out how many scats per fox and the size of territories If you would like to help with any of these projects, or if you require further details, please contact: Charlotte Webbon or Dr Phil Baker, The National Fox Survey, School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Woodland Road, Bristol BSS lUG Tel: 0117 9287593. email ccwebbon@hotmail.com

A useful account of the survey is given in November 1998 BBC Wildlife Magazine Vol 16, no 11 p25

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