The Mouth – Bournemouth – Poole – Christchurch

Species of the Month: November 2013

 

Bournemouth Naturally 

The Bournemouth Naturally project aims to build up a picture of biodiversity in Bournemouth through creation of a database of your wildlife sightings. Each month will feature a species, if you have seen it in your garden or local greenspace then please let us know.

Urban Fox.pdfPhoto: Ian Julian 

Ecology: Foxes are thought to have really become established in our towns and cities in the 1940s. This is perhaps not surprising when you consider two key characteristics of the fox. Firstly its adaptability; the fox is at home in a range of habitats all over Britain including woodland, farmland and uplands but also internationally from arid to Arctic habitats.

 

Secondly it’s scavenging nature, although foxes are capable hunters they show a preference for scavenging where opportunities arise in both urban and rural settings.

Urban foxes have a preference for suburban areas due to an abundance of large gardens providing a wide range of food and shelter. Urban foxes have a wide ranging diet including scavenged food remains, invertebrates such as worms and beetles, fruit and small mammals and birds found in waste ground, railway embankments and parks.

Despite an abundance of food in these areas urban foxes tend to have a shorter life expectancy of 2 to 3 years as they face added pressures in the urban environment such a network of busy roads

Records: Although foxes in urban gardens can be seen as a “nuisance” in some cases, records of where these animals occur in Bournemouth could be useful and provide insights into populations and distributions in urban habitats.

Please let us know if you spotted a fox in your local area or perhaps your garden has its own resident fox: email Heather Dixon: heatherdixon@bnss.org.uk

(Or online for those of you who have joined Living Record – if you are interested in wildlife recording contact Heather for details of how to join Living Record.)

A fox in the BNSS garden

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