Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Wildlife and Fisheries Science


The population, dispersal movements and summer home range of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) were studied in east-central South Dakota during 1974 and 1975. The spring population density of foxes on a 23,319 ha study area declined from 9.2 families/township in 1974 to 7.6 families/township in 1975. Fifty-four percent of 130 foxes tagged in spring, 1974 and 1975 were recovered during the first year following tagging. Hunting and trapping accounted for 18.0 and 77.8 percent, respectively. Recoveries revealed that dispersing juvenile male foxes were more mobile than juvenile females; juvenile foxes traveled a mean distance of 39 km for males and 13 km for females. The longest distance traveled was 123 km by a juvenile male. Five female foxes tagged and recaptured as adults traveled less than 8 km. fox recovery locations were randomly distributed with respect to direction of travel. Results from successfully radio-tracking 1 adult fox during summer, 1974, and 4 adult foxes during summer, 1975, revealed that foxes used home ranges averaging approximately 648 ha in size. The smallest home range (236 ha) was used by a 1 ½ year old barren female and the largest home range (916 ha) was used by an adult male of unknown age. Home ranges of adult foxes and well-defined boundaries, and overlap between contiguous home ranges was slight.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Red fox
Foxes -- South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (pages 45-47)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only