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Should urban foxes be excluded – United Kingdom?

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  1. Urban fox
  2. The problems that the urban fox causes in the UK and the need for exclusion
  3. Disadvantages of foxes
  4. Deterring foxes from residential areas
  5. Aspects of the economic and social growth in Britain and how it is affecting the urban fox habitat
  6. Conclusion

Foxes are wild animals that scavenge in the urban areas and have over the years adapted to the city environment. They have broad adaptability, are widely distributed and can live in diverse habitats. They usually move in a huge pack in search of food in places where resources are scattered. They can take one day to occupy an area after being eliminated in densely populated urban settings. Thus, it is impossible to create an area that foxes will not infiltrate and expand. Since they are omnivorous, they can easily adapt to any food available. Their diet consists of insects, earthworms, small mammals, birds and foods provided by residents. They breed once per year with an average litter of five cubs.

However, they have a high mortality rate where most die 14 months after birth. The major causes of death are winter, car accidents, bacterial and viral infection and fights with other foxes (Bynum 2004). Majority of urban residents have interacted freely with these animals by allowing them into their compounds and feeding them. As a result, they have lost their fear of human beings and can even enter into people's houses (Gehrt et al. 2010). The essay explores the menace caused by the urban foxes and how to control them. It also discusses the effect of economic and social changes on the fox habitat in urban areas.

[...] On the contrary, their supporters see them as a constant reminder of the wilderness that was teeming with animals before it became a city of concrete structures. In reality, children are more susceptible to be attacked by domestic dogs and other urban pets then by foxes. The new breeds of foxes are many in number and have disregarded human boundaries. The bold ones invade people's homes in search of food and shelter. Due to their overabundance, the urban environment is unable to cater for their food (Downer 2014). Urban foxes are considered dirty, criminal, violent and inadaptable to city life. [...]

[...] Nevertheless, trapped animals cause disturbance in the area due to the protracted screams they make until they are collected. After catching the foxes, it is illegal to relocate them for it is considered as cruelty toward the animals. They are required to be shot dead. Animal rights activists are opposed to trapping of foxes in open public spaces (Wandsworth Council 2007). Fencing is a safe method of deterring foxes from entering homes. Secure fences should be built at least 45cm in the ground, two meters high with a 30 cm overhead at the top. [...]

[...] They usually leave their scent behind preventing other foxes from occupying the vacant area (Rushton et al. 2006). Deterring foxes from residential areas If foxes have become a menace in the home compound they can be deterred by: Avoid putting bird or pest food on the ground and instead use bird feeders. Food scraps should not be left outside at any time. Compost heaps should be covered for they are rich breeding areas for insects that attract foxes. Fertilizers such as bone meal should be avoided fro their smell attract foxes. [...]

[...] W., Boitani, L., Dinerstein, E., Fritz, H., & Wrangham, R. (January 01, 2013). Conserving large mammals: Are they a special case?. 277-312. [...]

[...] Majority of foxes live on wild birds, rabbits, beetles, and carrion. They are useful in reducing the menace of rats and mice. There is little human-fox conflict, since foxes sometimes interact freely with humans and in most occasions poses no physical threat to them. Complaints of property damage or harm to domestic pets are few, residents sympathizes with them. Lastly, the fox is regarded as one of the most popular mammal in Britain and few people would wish to have it excluded from urban areas. [...]

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