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Ecology of the Desert Kit Fox, Vulpes macrotis arsipus, in the Mojave Desert of Southern California





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A field study using live-trapping and radio-telemetry was conducted to learn whether desert kit foxes inhabiting the Rand Open Area in eastern Kern County, California, were being adversely affected by human activities such as use of ORV's, as compared with foxes living in the undisturbed Desert Tortoise Research Natural Area. Individuals were more readily trapped in the Rand Area, and fox populations there were more dense, had a higher rate of reproduction, greater survival, and different sources of mortality as compared with the control population in the Tortoise Area. Except for two foxes shot in the Rand Area, there were no negative effects observed in the ORV study site that could be causally linked to human activities.