Space use and territoriality in swift foxes (Vulpes velox) in northeastern Colorado

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Amariah A. Lebsock
  • Christopher L. Burdett
  • Safi K. Darden
  • Dabelsteen, Torben
  • Michael F. Antolin
  • Kevin R. Crooks
Space use is a fundamental characteristic that informs our knowledge of social relationships and the degree to which individuals are territorial. Until recently, relatively little was known about the spatial ecology and social organization of swift foxes (Vulpes velox (Say, 1823)). We investigated space use of swift foxes on shortgrass prairie in northeastern Colorado. Our first objective was to evaluate sizes of seasonal and annual home ranges and core areas of 13 radio-collared swift foxes monitored continuously for 2 years. Our second objective was to compare home-range and core-area overlap of breeding pairs to that of neighboring foxes, including male–male, female–female, and nonbreeding female–male dyads. Home-range size in our study population was among the smallest previously reported for swift foxes. Males tended to have slightly larger home ranges and core areas than females, and home-range size was significantly larger in the breeding season than in both the pup-rearing and the dispersal seasons; sizes of core areas did not differ seasonally. Spatial overlap between breeding pairs was substantial, whereas spatial overlap between neighbors, particularly males, was low, suggesting territoriality.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCanadian Journal of Zoology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)337-344
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2012

ID: 48874230