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Last Updated: Monday, 23 April 2007, 09:18 GMT 10:18 UK
Fox expert calls for public help
Fox (generic)
It is hoped the public will report any new-born urban foxes
A scientist is urging members of the public to help him keep an eye on the fox population of a Berkshire town.

Dr Phil Baker, a biological scientist at the University of Reading, is setting out to record the number of cubs born from the end of the month.

Residents are also being asked to report dead foxes, so that information can be gathered from post-mortem tests.

Dr Baker said the survey would help experts looking at any public health threat posed by urban foxes.

Rabies problem

He said the public's help was vital to build up as full a picture as possible of the number of foxes in the town environs.

"Work such as this is hugely important. For example, foxes are increasingly accused of causing a range of problems in urban areas in Britain, although these are often exaggerated.

"Perhaps the single greatest potential problem is rabies, which could be transmitted by foxes if it were introduced into this country.

"Agencies such as the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs are therefore particularly interested in knowing how many foxes there are in urban areas and how they are distributed within towns and cities," he explained.


SEE ALSO
Orphaned fox cub adopted by dog
03 Apr 07 |  Surrey
Fox cub treated at animal home
09 Mar 07 |  Suffolk

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