Gray fox home range, spatial overlap, mated pair interactions and extra-territorial forays in southwestern Georgia – 2017. Wildlife Biology doi: 10.2981/wlb.00326.

Deuel, N. R., L. M. Conner, K. V. Miller, M. J. Chamberlain, M. J. Cherry, and L. V. Tannenbaum. 2017. Gray fox home range, spatial overlap, mated pair interactions and extra-territorial forays in southwestern Georgia.  Wildlife Biology doi: 10.2981/wlb.00326.

Despite numerous studies estimating gray fox Urocyon cinereoargenteus home range sizes, there have been few studies to evaluate more nuanced space use patterns; thus little is known about gray fox spatial ecology beyond estimates of home range size. We used GPS-technology to track 34 gray foxes (20 males and 14 females) from February 2014 until December 2015 in southwestern Georgia, USA. Home range sizes were similar among seasons (p < 0.05), but core area sizes were smaller during spring than during winter and summer (p < 0.05). As would be expected, home range overlap was much greater between mated pairs than among neighboring animals and core area overlap among neighbors did not occur. Members of a mated pair apparently interacted frequently, with 29.4% of all simultaneous locations occurring within 40 m of each other. Members of mated pairs interacted more diurnally during spring (49.9%) which is concurrent with denning, than during summer (31.5%), while nocturnal interactions were similar during spring (18.0%) and summer (19.3%). We recorded 25 extra-territorial forays from 10 of 26 gray foxes. Three male foxes were responsible for nearly half (12) of these forays. Because these forays took place during the breeding season, we suggest males may have been seeking extra-pair copulations.

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