Lutra 49(2)_Van Den Berge_book review

Book review: Fox research in the dunes from 1979 till 2000

Vossenonderzoek in de duinstreek van 1979 tot 2000. J. Mulder 2005. Report 2005.72, Society for the Study and Conservation of Mammals (VZZ), Arnhem, The Netherlands. 78 pp. ISBN 90-73162-78-5.

Foxes are one species of wild animals which attract much social attention, and have been the subject of much research, since their presence frequently conflicts with human interests and activities. In the countryside, foxes are black-listed because of the damage they do to poultry, and their role as a competitor with hunters further stigmatises the species. During the second half of the previous century, foxes were identified as the main vector responsible for the spread of sylvatic rabies throughout Europe. While oral immunisation provided a sound solution for this problem, a new and even greater risk to human life has been detected as being linked with foxes: the fox tape worm Echinococcus multilocularis. Always a target for hunters and poultry keepers, the threats that foxes pose to human health are often used to strengthen public opposition to the species. And if that is not enough, some conservationists are now drawing increased attention to the possible negative effects that foxes’ predatory activities could have within some ecosystems....