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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 2(2)

Fox Scat Analysis in a Forest Park in South-Eastern Australia.

H Brunner, JW Lloyd and BJ Coman

Australian Wildlife Research 2(2) 147 - 154
Published: 1975


The dietary habits of foxes in a small forest park 40 km east of Melbourne were assessed from analysis of dried excreta represented by 1888 scats collected during 1 year. Of the total 67% contained remains of mammals, with rabbits showing the highest incidence, but including also antechinus, possums, rats and mice. Bird feathers were found in 17% of specimens examined and a great variety of insect remains were identified. Vegetable material was also present in 86% of samples, including the seeds of various fruits. Snails were eaten only in winter and spring; land crayfish were commonly eaten during the warmer months. The results also pointed to cannibalism; substantial amounts of fox fur were identified in 10 samples. Buried remains of cats and dogs were dug up and eaten and garbage buried at a small dump in the area was repeatedly exhumed and eaten, presumably by foxes. It is concluded that scat analysis, particularly during the colder months, provides a good indication of the mammalian species preyed upon by foxes in a given area.

Full text doi:10.1071/WR9750147

© CSIRO 1975

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