Photographed by Bette Jackson
If you are have difficulty playing the audio click here
Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. Our red and gray foxes have both likely benefited from the arrival of humans in Florida. Clearing the forest lands, creating more of a habitat mosaic in the state has created good habitats for both. Our highways have also been a boon to them, providing an abundance of road kills as food and culverts that are sometimes used as dens. Both foxes are hunted for sport or for their fur. The fur of a red fox has always been more valuable than that of a gray fox and in the 1970s, some red fox pelts brought as much as $50. The fur of a gray fox is more coarse, and of less value. The range expansion of red foxes into Florida and throughout the state since the 1950s brought problems for some other Florida wildlife. Red foxes have become important predators on beach-nesting birds and the eggs and young of sea turtles and also threaten Florida animals that have very restricted distribution, such as the Perdido Key beach mouse. Both the gray fox and the red fox can carry rabies. Red fox seem to be the greater problem because they occur more often in urban habitats; one was even seen in the Orange Bowl football stadium.
'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.