Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cropland canids 2: The Indian Fox

The second-most common wild canid in Uttar Pradesh's (UP) croplands is the lovely Indian Fox, the commonest being the Jackal. My friend Abi Tamim who has studied foxes in south India tells me that they prefer grasslands and suchlike habitat there, though they do occur in small numbers in croplands. My sightings of foxes in UP have been very few to make any assessment of the population except that they appears to be widespread.

ly the Indian Fox faces a number of problems in UP - dogs chase them down, crows attack individuals that are foraging in areas without vegetation cover (middle photo), roadkilled foxes are unfortunately commonly encountered on most well-maintained roads (bottom photo). Despite all this, successful breeding appears to be widespread evidenced by the pups-of-the-year (top photo) Hardly the area you would think ideal for a "carnivore" - but there you are!

is another lovely animal worthy of study in UP's crop-infested areas - how do they survive in this far-from-being-wild place? Fox sightings have been a real bonus and well worth getting up really early to get to transect points before dawn! All these photos have been taken at or before dawn.

Thanks are due to Abi for recognizing the pup-of-the-year (overa
ll gangly appearance; black on tail not as developed as in adults) and for various discussions on this amazing species he has studied for several years.

(Photo detai
ls: Top - pup-of-the-year in Barabanki district, May 17, 2009; middle - adult male being chased by crow in Ghazipur district, Apr 23, 2009; bottom - adult male Fox roadkill in Sultanpur district, May 04, 2009)

1 comment:

  1. it is a shame to see a fellow fox go down. i shall mourn my bretheren.