Arctic Fox (Vulpes lagopus)
The arctic fox is a small fox native to the Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere and is common throughout the Arctic tundra biome. It is well adapted to living in cold environments. It has a deep thick fur which is brown in summer and white in winter. They prey on any small animals they can find, including lemmings, voles, ringed seal pups, fish, and seabirds. They will also eat carrion, berries, and seaweed. They form monogamous pairs during the breeding season and usually stay together in family groups of multiple generations in complex underground dens.
By Madelaine Keenlyside
Nov. 14, 2013
Though recent efforts like the P.E.I Urban Fox Project have contributed to more awareness of the creatures, there needs to be more of an awareness about the red foxes living in Charlottetown and throughout the Island, a local woman said today.
Heather Murphy, 26, said she’s seen hundreds of foxes since moving to the Island three years ago, and the Urban Fox Project is mapping their den areas in order to protect them.
Murphy said people need to know the areas these dens are in, and because we are living with semi-domesticated foxes in town, we need to be a little more aware they are there.
“We’ve probably destroyed a good amount of their habitat already with Charlottetown being here. We should try and kind of lay off what they have left.”
The red foxes are partially domestic, she said, in that they’re not very skittish, afraid of people, or not territorial.
“If a person is near their territory, they don’t get aggressive. Usually wild animals, you’d think, seeing you near their den – they’re not going to be happy with you.
Murphy said she’s always had an interest in foxes but moving here kind of really amplified that interest because she sees them all the time now. In the wooded area just down the road from where she lives, she sees baby foxes all the time, but they rarely stay still long enough for her to get a photo.
However, last month she did manage to find one fox willing to stand still long enough for a photo shoot. While parked with friends by the cannons in Charlottetown’s Victoria Park, a fox trotted up to the side of their car.
“He stayed by the car windows, so it made me think this was something of a nightly thing for this particular fox. I think he was begging for food because he was close enough for us to take pictures of, and staying still.”
Murphy said there are two she sees on a regular basis, and I know they’re the exact same foxes every time because they go up to their neighbour’s house and lay on his porch.”
When he’s outside, she added, they can be seen laying at his feet.
“It’s weird, because they’re wild animals, and obviously they’re not pets. This guy, I don’t know if he’s a fox whisperer or (laughs) well, maybe he feeds them.”
Another fox sighting she has experienced happened while she and her ex-boyfriend we were dating, she said. At the same time every day they would spot the same fox when they were driving out to his home in Bonshaw.
“There (was) this fox sitting on the side of the road watching cars go by…He never went on the road but he liked to watch.”
Badger and Coyote shenanigans, Franklin Mountains State Park, El Paso, TX, USA. An American Badger (Taxidea taxus) and a group of young coyotes (Canis latrans) scuffle over rights to the water and food at the bird feeding station.
Photos taken July 2014 by Blanca Ramirez
"While the coyote is widely recognized as one of the most resilient creatures in North America, the idea of a New York City coyote is still pretty amazing,” said Mark Weckel, a postdoctoral research fellow at the American Museum of Natural History’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation.And yet, the first coyote ever to be collected on Long Island will soon be added to the collection of the Museum’s Mammalogy Department. It’s easy to forget that Long Island is truly an island, separated from mainland New York by water. So this animal, which was hit and killed by a vehicle on the Cross Island Parkway in Queens and recovered by the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, likely had a difficult journey through urban sprawl and over water to get there.Coyotes expanded their range from the Midwest about 150 years ago, through newly cleared agricultural areas that mimicked their natural plains habitat. They have continued to adapt to suburban and even urban conditions, often unnoticed by their human neighbors.Weckel has been studying this expansion of coyote range as part of a program called the Gotham Coyote Project, a collaboration between researchers from the Museum and the Mianus River Gorge in Bedford, NY.
Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
By Megan Gannon
The Southwest’s small population of endangered Mexican wolves, once driven to the brink of extinction, has grown for the fourth year in a row, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
By the end up 2013, there were at least 83 wolves roaming Arizona and New Mexico, up from 75 in 2012, a population survey found. Among the 14 known packs, there were five breeding couples and 17 newborn pups that survived until the end of the year.
Benjamin Tuggle, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southwest regional director, said the Mexican wolf population has nearly doubled in the past four years and noted that the entire population consists of wolvesthat were born in the wild. The numbers, however, disappointed some conservationists who lament that the species’ population growth has been slow.
Eva Sargent, director of southwest programs for Defenders of Wildlife, said the wolf population has “stagnated” and is ”geographically and genetically stranded.” In a statement, Sargent urged the Fish and Wildlife Service to release more captive breeding pairs into the wild and establish additional core populations to boost the species’ numbers.
Meanwhile, Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity, said the wolves “remain a long way from being recovered, but this is definitely encouraging news.” In 2008, the group helped overturn a policy that allowed wildlife managers in Arizona and New Mexico to remove and kill wolves involved in livestock depredations.
Mexican wolves, also known as lobos, once ranged throughout the Southwest, but were nearly extinct in the United States by the 1970s. After the species was listed as endangered, a captive breeding program was established to bring the animals back to the wild, starting with just seven wolves, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Mexican wolf is a subspecies of the gray wolf, which has also made a comeback in the continental United States after being hunted close to extinction; today, it’s estimated that more than 5,000 gray wolves live in western Great Lakes states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and the northern Rocky Mountain states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, as well as eastern Oregon and Washington. The Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed taking gray wolves off the Endangered Species list, declaring the population sufficiently recovered, though many biologists are worried the move is premature. Under the proposal, the Mexican wolf would keep its endangered status. Federal officials are expected to make a decision later this year.
The maned wolf is the largest canine species in South America and closely resembles a red fox on stilts because of its long legs. It is neither a wolf, fox, coyote, or dog but rather a member of its own Chrysocyon genus, making it a truly unique animal. They possess a mane that runs from the back of the head to the shoulders which can be erected to intimidate other animals when displaying aggression or when they feel threatened.
Unlike other wolves that live in packs, maned wolves do not form or hunt in packs but prefer to live alone. Maned wolf is considered as the last surviving species of the Pleistocene Extinction, which wiped out all other large canids from the continent.