The Diet of Foxes and the Availability of Anthropogenic Food on Prince Edward Island, Canada

Marina Silva-Opps, Whitney Kelly-Clark, Sheldon Opps


It has been postulated that red foxes (Vulpesvulpes) inhabiting Prince Edward Island National Park (Canada) make very little use of natural food sources and that anthropogenic food play an integral part in their diet. The use of anthropogenic food sources has also been associated with an increased number of fatal fox vehicle-collisions in the park. The main goal of this study was to examine the composition of the diet of foxes inhabiting Prince Edward Island National Park and to compare this diet with foxes found in other areas of the island. In particular, we examined the importance of anthropogenic food items in foxes inhabiting the national park. We analyzed 38 stomachs from foxes killed by trappers or vehiclesduring late fall and early winter within and outside the national park. Our results showed that rodents and vegetation were the most common food items present in fox stomachs whether the animals were obtained from within or outside the park. Values of coefficient of variation of food items found in fox stomachs indicated a great diversity in diet composition. However, only six stomachs contained anthropogenic food items. Stomachs of foxes killed by vehicles contained twice the amount of anthropogenic food items than those that were collected from trappers. Overall, our findings indicate that anthropogenic food items are only a minor component in the diet of foxes occurring within the park, at least during the period of time examined in this study. Future studies should examine diet composition during other seasons when the quantity and quality of anthropogenic food sources is different.


Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Marina Silva-Opps, Whitney Kelly-Clark, Sheldon Opps

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright © SCHOLINK INC.  ISSN 2470-637X (Print)  ISSN 2470-6388 (Online)