Date of this Version
Box traps and foot-hold snares are common methods to live-capture study animals. However, these methods are frequently ineffective due to factors such as weather constraints, food availability, and target animal behavior. During a study of red fox (Vulpes vulpes) behavior, we examined the use of neck snares to live-trap study animals. We modified the neck snare using swivel cam-locks, deer stops to minimize damage to the animal. Additionally, we utilized our knowledge of red-fox behavior to set traps in a way that would reduce trauma to the captured animals. We snared 21 red foxes during the 3-year study with only 2 fatal injuries. Sixteen of these animals were followed with radio-telemetry for 3 to 28 months. With the data we collected during the radio-telemetry, we calculated home ranges. Home range size estimates calculated during the first few months for each fox were not different than those collected during the rest of the season. Most of the estimated home ranges for these red foxes did not encompass the snare location, suggesting either avoidance of the trap location or that the foxes were caught while investigating the status of another territory. Because captured red foxes were active the evening immediately after capture and all captured females reared young that spring, we determined that neck snares did not greatly affect their behavior. Thus, this method is a successful alternative way to live-capture red foxes for radio-telemetry studies.