Acta Theriologica

, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 245–250 | Cite as

Space use and resting site selection of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) living near villages and small towns in Southern Germany

  • Christof JankoEmail author
  • Wolfgang Schröder
  • Stefan Linke
  • Andreas König
Original Paper


In 2005–2008, we radio-tracked 17 foxes in rural areas of Southern Germany. The mean home range size was 76.6 ha (95% MCP) or 138.9 ha (95% fixed kernel), and the built-up area formed an integral part of the home range. Home ranges of juvenile foxes were significantly smaller than home ranges of adult foxes. Gender-specific differences among adult foxes were not established. A minimum population density of 2.7 foxes per km2 and summer densities of up to 13.4 foxes per km2 were calculated. Therefore, the fox density was three to eight times higher than that of strictly rural foxes. Daytime resting sites of foxes were mostly found in forests (62.2%) and reedbed areas (20.6%). Of the resting sites, 14.8% were situated inside settlements, in fallow gardens or gardens of residents. During the day, foxes exhibited habitat preferences for forests and reedbed areas. A habitat structure that offers plenty of cover or dense vegetation is essential for its selection as a safe resting site. If this basic requirement is fulfilled, foxes also choose resting sites within settlements, and are not disturbed by human presence.


Carnivore Home range Habitat selection Urban wildlife 



We would like to thank all collaborators, field helpers and the communities of Andechs, Herrsching and Seefeld. Special thanks to the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung for furthering this work with a personal scholarship. Additionally, we would like to thank several companies for financial contributions that enabled us to purchase telemetry equipment and collars.


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Copyright information

© Mammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, Białowieża, Poland 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christof Janko
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wolfgang Schröder
    • 1
  • Stefan Linke
    • 1
  • Andreas König
    • 1
  1. 1.Wildlife Biology and Management Unit, Animal Ecology, Center of Life Sciences WeihenstephanTechnische Universität MünchenFreisingGermany

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