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Accueil du site → Master → Australie → An investigation into the spatial distribution, habitat selection and resource usage of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) inhabiting urban reserves within Perth, Western Australia

Edith Cowan University (2020)

An investigation into the spatial distribution, habitat selection and resource usage of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) inhabiting urban reserves within Perth, Western Australia

Main Michael Thomas

Titre : An investigation into the spatial distribution, habitat selection and resource usage of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) inhabiting urban reserves within Perth, Western Australia

Auteur : Main Michael Thomas

Université de soutenance : Edith Cowan University

Grade : Master of Science (Biological Sciences) 2020

Résumé partiel
I attempted to track a population of urban foxes in Kings Park, but due to collar failure, only one collar was retrieved. The GPS telemetry data from this fox produced home range estimates for minimum convex polygon (MCP) and kernel density (KD) of 0.302 km² and 0.331 km², respectively. The fox was predominantly active at night, with a ten-fold increase in movement during nocturnal periods when compared to daytime movements. Roads and man-made tracks were important for facilitating movement of the fox through its home range, with almost 97% of location fixes recorded within 100m of these features. The fox showed a preference for parrot bush Banksia sessilis shrubland and disturbed areas containing exotic weeds and revegetation, while avoiding woodlands and open spaces.

Monitoring programs aimed at assessing the abundance of invasive species, as well as the severity of their impacts to the environment, are crucial for designing and implementing effective control strategies. I investigated the relative occupancy and diet of foxes at the local scale. Thirty one fox scats taken from two urban reserves revealed that medium-sized mammals, particularly brush-tailed possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) and quenda (Isoodon fusciventer), and black rats (Rattus rattus) comprised a large proportion of fox diet. Fruits and seeds, predominantly those produced by the Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla), also contributed to a large portion of the diet of foxes. I used 21 motion cameras deployed across 10 monitoring sites to estimate fox occupancy within Kings Park. Seasonality had a significant influence on probability of occupancy and detection for foxes inhabiting Kings Park, with the highest rates of detection seen during the summer months (December-February). This spike in detections is consistent with the timing of dispersing juveniles, which are likely to be immigrating into the area in search of a suitable home range.

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