SCIENCES

The Hidden World of the Fox

Morrow. Oct. 2019. 224p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780062966100. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062966124. NAT HIST
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Eminent British mammal ecologist Brand pens a tribute to the red fox. Omnivorous red foxes range widely across the northern hemisphere from wilderness habitats to rural areas to the suburbs to the streets of London. Brand weaves her personal experience studying foxes and raising their orphaned young into a lay discussion of their folklore and habits. This well-researched work with an extensive bibliography covers the evolutionary history of red foxes as well as their biology, including physical characteristics, breeding behavior, and vocalizations. Brand shares their hunting techniques and relationships with other animals as both predator and prey, as well as the problems with trying to estimate population sizes and feeding and/or keeping foxes as pets. She debunks their danger to humans except in extremely rare cases and addresses the two main diseases, mange and rabies, foxes may contract. The work is rounded out with ideas for studying foxes using photography, tracking, and keeping a wildlife diary and even provides research topics for students to pursue.
VERDICT This beautifully written work paying homage to red foxes will appeal to those interested in urban wildlife and the ever-increasing conflicts between humans and other animals.

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