Photographed by Bette Jackson
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Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. Most red foxes are readily identified by their rusty-red coat, white undersides, and long bushy tail with a white tip. We readily recognize red foxes because of their conspicuous fur coat and the facts that they have been the subject of considerable folklore and many children’s stories, a part of our European heritage stemming from the tradition of fox hunting. The red foxes of Europe and North America have long been considered different species, but recent genetic studies suggests that they're one in the same. Today, red foxes are found across the United States and into southern Canada and are absent only from parts of the southwest, Rocky Mountain areas, and parts of coastal North Carolina and Virginia, but in the past they may have been absent from much of the south. The distribution of red foxes has changed substantially since colonial times, in part a result of introductions for fox hunting and more recently, as a result of clearing and fragmentation of our forests. As recently as the 1950s, red foxes were said to be absent from Florida. Today, they can be found throughout the state.
'With the Wild Things' is produced at the Whitaker Center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. For 'The Wild Things', I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson.