Preliminary results of using behavioural latencies to assess the use of sand floor in blue foxes
Orjala, Hanna; Koistinen, Tarja; Korhonen, Hannu T. (2010)
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Korhonen, Hannu T.
The aim of this study was to study why blue foxes change floor material between a mesh floor and sand floor. We measured latencies of various behaviours after the fox entered the sand and mesh floor. Our Blue foxes could use two cages, one with mesh floor and one with sand floor. The cages were connected with two one-way doors, to which weight could be added. The latencies for various behaviours were measured after entrance to a cage with 0 and 2.5 kg of extra weight on the door in 15 foxes. The first behaviours after entering either of the cages were related to inspection of the surroundings outside and inside the cage, suggesting that the behaviours have certain order irrespective of the floor material. The sand was used more for elimination and caching of food leftover than the mesh floor, and in resting and contact with neighbour fox the trend was opposite. The latency to start sniffing sand was shorter than that of digging. Our results show that latency may provide a good tool to evaluate resource use.
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