Habitat selection and the influence of habitat variables on red fox ranges were assessed in the Gran Paradiso National Park, Western Alps, Italy, all year round. Nine hundred twenty-two scats were mapped as "signs of presence" by monthly surveys of fixed transects in the main habitat types and altitude belts. Forested habitats and lower attitudes (1000-1500 m a.s.l.) were selected, whereas upper altitudes were avoided, during the cold season. This pattern was attributed to the availability of ungulate carrion, widely used as food by foxes, at low altitude, while upper altitudes provided poor resources in the cold season. During the warm season, no clear pattern of habitat selection could be detected. The selection for forested habitats could therefore be explained by the availability of resources other than food, e.g. resting and denning sites. The strong seasonality of an Alpine altitudinal succession, where resource availability varies over short distances, may lead to home ranges containing a variety of habitat types along the altitudinal gradient, providing resources throughout the year. Foxes possibly hold "vertical" home ranges, where certain habitat types became strategic, especially under limiting climatic conditions.

Cagnacci, F., Meriggi, A., & Lovari, S. (2004). Habitat selection by the red fox (L. 1758) in an Alpine area. ETHOLOGY ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION, 16(2), 103-116 [10.1080/08927014.2004.9522640].

Habitat selection by the red fox (L. 1758) in an Alpine area

LOVARI S.
2004

Abstract

Habitat selection and the influence of habitat variables on red fox ranges were assessed in the Gran Paradiso National Park, Western Alps, Italy, all year round. Nine hundred twenty-two scats were mapped as "signs of presence" by monthly surveys of fixed transects in the main habitat types and altitude belts. Forested habitats and lower attitudes (1000-1500 m a.s.l.) were selected, whereas upper altitudes were avoided, during the cold season. This pattern was attributed to the availability of ungulate carrion, widely used as food by foxes, at low altitude, while upper altitudes provided poor resources in the cold season. During the warm season, no clear pattern of habitat selection could be detected. The selection for forested habitats could therefore be explained by the availability of resources other than food, e.g. resting and denning sites. The strong seasonality of an Alpine altitudinal succession, where resource availability varies over short distances, may lead to home ranges containing a variety of habitat types along the altitudinal gradient, providing resources throughout the year. Foxes possibly hold "vertical" home ranges, where certain habitat types became strategic, especially under limiting climatic conditions.
Cagnacci, F., Meriggi, A., & Lovari, S. (2004). Habitat selection by the red fox (L. 1758) in an Alpine area. ETHOLOGY ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION, 16(2), 103-116 [10.1080/08927014.2004.9522640].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11365/9345
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