Utilizing a newly designed enclosure to study the behaviour and welfare of juvenile red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) within a wildlife rehabilitation centre

dc.contributor.advisorOsborne, Vern
dc.contributor.authorMatesic, Cale
dc.date.accessioned2022-06-27T19:19:55Z
dc.date.available2022-06-27T19:19:55Z
dc.date.copyright2022-06-07
dc.date.created2022-05-02
dc.degree.departmentDepartment of Animal Biosciencesen_US
dc.degree.grantorUniversity of Guelphen
dc.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophyen_US
dc.degree.programmeAnimal Biosciencesen_US
dc.description.abstractCreating enclosures in wildlife rehabilitation centres contributes to a large fraction of the success of a wildlife rehabilitator. The standards given by the National Wildlife Rehabilitation Association (NWRA) in enclosure design for red foxes (1.2m x 1.2m x 2.4m) are too small to truly benefit these animals once released. In 2017, a 4.57m x 3.05m x 2.44m enclosure was designed and built to exceed the 2012 NWRA standards for housing of juvenile red foxes. Between 2017 and 2018, behaviour and welfare were tested through observational ethograms and compared amongst 2 separate groups of foxes. Frequency of behaviours were compared between both years and overall behavioural development differed. Even though as adults red foxes are quite solitary, results indicated as juveniles, living in a socialized group encouraged a more harmonized behavioural development. The frequencies were consistent, with many passive behaviours occurring (lying down, hiding). Feeding time brought about a social hierarchy and competition, encouraging faster natural development. When living in a singular environment, all natural behaviours developed within the same timeframe as previous. However, fewer passive activities were observed and instead, behaviours were more active (running, walking, playing). Feeding time exhibited less social competition and an even keel distribution of behaviour occurred. Enclosure design minimized stereotypical behaviours (pacing, panting) and encouraged natural development of behaviours overall prior to release. The analysis suggests that further extensive research should be conducted in relation to enclosure design and post-release tracking studies need to be performed to view the successfulness of these animals once released back into the wild.en_US
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/10214/27036
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.publisherUniversity of Guelphen
dc.rights.licenseAll items in the Atrium are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectVulpes vulpesen_US
dc.subjectWildlife Rehabilitationen_US
dc.subjectEnclosureen_US
dc.subjectBehaviouren_US
dc.subjectWelfareen_US
dc.subjectFur Farmen_US
dc.subjectZooen_US
dc.subjectCanadaen_US
dc.subjectRed Foxen_US
dc.subjectObservationalen_US
dc.subjectDesignen_US
dc.subjectJuvenileen_US
dc.titleUtilizing a newly designed enclosure to study the behaviour and welfare of juvenile red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) within a wildlife rehabilitation centreen_US
dc.typeThesisen

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