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The spatial organization of a population of red foxes in the city of Oxford was contrasted to that of a neighbouring population in the surrounding suburbs. Both populations were organized in social groups, each of which occupied an exclusive territory. While territories in the suburbs were spatially stable, those in the city drifted in location continually, but they did so in such a way that the juxtaposition of neighbouring groups remained essentially unaltered across generations of occupants. The hexagonal pattern of city ranges moved at a rate equivalent to the complete displacement of an average range (38.8 ha) every 13 months (3.01 ha month-1), although drifting was more pronounced from November-April. City and suburban foxes had comparable diets and ranges of the same order of magnitude; the mobility of city foxes was associated with social instability due to a higher turnover of the population and a lower proportion of barren vixens. -from Authors

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Animal Ecology

Publication Date





423 - 439