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Foxes--Age determination; Red fox; Teeth--Radiography


A prerequisite to the proper management of an animal species is understanding of its population dynamics. Attempting this, the age structure of 297 red fox trapped or shot in southern Minnesota was investigated, using the techniques of tooth sectioning and x-ray. Results from two seasons (1977 and 1978) were similar, with 76.8 percent of the harvested population being juveniles (78.4 percent, 1977 and 74.6 percent, 1978), whereas only 0 .6 percent of the total were in the 4½ year old class. The percentage of juveniles corresponds closely to the numbers predicted by a Department of Natural Resources model developed by Al Berner of the Farmland Research Unit. If a population reacts in a density-dependent manner, an increase in the breeding density should reduce the reproductive rate, and vice-versa. Data of this paper tend to support the premise that the reproductive rate in Minnesota red fox is affected in a density-dependent manner.

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