1997 Volume 22 Issue 1+2 Pages 71-80
In order to solve traffic problems and to understand possible epidemic risks resulting from the feeding of wild red foxes, Vulpes vulpes, the acquisition of food begging behavior by foxes in the Shiretoko National Park, Hokkaido, Japan was studied. Foxes were individually identified and their behavior was observed from June to October each year from 1992 to 1994. The locations of family territories and denning sites were established, and the degree of their tolerance to humans was investigated, and the relevancy of these factors in food begging behavior was examined. The development of food begging behavior among individuals less than one year old was strongly correlated (p<0.01) with their dens being within 20 m of the road edge. Most juveniles which were not born in dens near the roadside showed no food begging behavior and most individuals more than one year old, which had not previously shown such behavior did not acquire it at all, strongly suggesting that food begging behavior was predominantly acquired by juveniles denning near roads. Thus, preventing foxes from denning near roads should be an effective means to obstruct the acquisition of begging behavior.
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