The fox originated some 45 million years ago in the Eocene period, over the years they have adapted to fit in with the changing environment of both rural and urban surroundings. Today, foxes are a common site in both urban and rural areas and it is accepted that some people love them while others see them as a pest, or nuisance. Foxes are part of the natural wildlife and it is thought that the fox is the most widespread and abundant carnivore in the world.
Foxes are members of the dog family (Canidae) and can resemble a small dog in appearance with reddish brown in colouration with blacks and usually a white tail tip. Many have a white bib on the throat. A typical fox weighs around 6.5 kg and measures up to 110 cm, including the tail, and can be up to 40 cm high to the shoulder.
Foxes are omnivores that will eat practically anything. A typical diet includes worms, beetles, berries, carrion, small rodents, rabbits and birds. Although an efficient predator, foxes are generally lazy and will not attempt to catch elusive prey when scavenging produces an easier meal e.g. from dustbins or other food put out by residents. The lazy characteristics of the fox have seen them spread into more towns and cities over the past few years.
If you have noticed holes appearing in your flower beds or lawns, then foxes may be accountable. They like to forage for worms and insect larvae, but they also like to dig dens in which to raise their litter. If foxes are causing damage then it is important to consider the most appropriate control strategies that could be implemented. The methods of control can vary between rural and urban environments
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