Thursday, 27 December 2018

Foxes in the city: Citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife


Date:  December 14, 2018
Source:  University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna
Urban habitats are becoming increasingly more important for several wildlife species. Foxes, for example, have become successful inhabitants of urban areas in recent years. The research team has now conducted an analysis, the first of its kind in the German-speaking countries, of fox sightings in Vienna. Data on fox sightings was available from all times of the year for a period of five years. Encounters with foxes were reported from all city districts and at all times of day.
"Much of our knowledge about the occurrence, distribution and association with land use of these urban foxes is poor, however, partly because many of the favoured urban habitats are on private property and therefore hardly accessible to scientists," explains Theresa Walter from the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology at Vetmeduni Vienna. Using a citizen science approach, in which the Viennese public reported fox sightings that were made, for example, in private gardens, it was possible to close this information gap.

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