Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

 

Search in the Encyclopedia

Dieren en planten

Predators   Fox   

Water en land

  • Dut: vos
  • Eng: (red) fox
  • Fren: renard (roux)
  • Ger: Rotfuchs
  • Nor: Rev
  • Lat: Vulpes vulpes
(red) fox, Willem van Duin

Fox

Fox have a bad reputation: they are known as chicken-killers and bird-robbers. That is why they have been hunted and chased away for a long time. They eat whatever they can get hold of, from rabbits to dead animals to rubbish from garbage containers. They will also eat berries and fruit. When there is more food than they can eat, a part of the spoils will be buried or hidden. The only Dutch Wadden Island where fox live is on Vlieland.

On Texel


Op de röntgenfoto van de vos uit 2010 zijn de kogeltjes duidelijk zichtbaar, Pierre Bonnet

There have been several times that Texel has been startled by finds of dead fox on the island. The last time was in 2010. A dead fox was found on the side of a road. It appeared to have been hit by a vehicle. However, x-rays of the body showed numerous pieces of lead shot. So the animal had been killed by a rifle and not by a car. In addition, remnants of dung beetles that are only found in southern and eastern Netherlands were found in its stomach. Therefore, it is more likely that someone brought the fox to Texel as a joke. For nature-lovers on the island, it was a sick joke, since a live fox would mean a disaster for thousands of birds that nest on the ground. In the meantime, the fox has been stuffed; both the fox and x-ray photos can be seen in the exposition in Ecomare.

  • Dune residents

    Since 1968, fox have returned to the dunes. They were exterminated in the Middle Ages because it was seen as protection for the upcoming rabbit breeding. For four hundred years, the fox was unable to build up a population in the dunes. When it did appear on the scene, fox spread quickly because its prey was no longer accustomed to this 'new' enemy. Nevertheless, when compared to overgrowth in the dunes, fox have had little influence on the breeding successes of birds.

  • City fox

    Since 2000, there are so many fox in the dunes that more and more young animals are taking refuge in city parks and along train dikes. Besides eating vermin such as water voles, rats and mice, these 'city foxes' also eat out of garbage cans. Another favorite target for fox is chicken and rabbit cages.

  • Wadden Islands

    Up till 2009, the only Wadden Island where fox were found was the German island of Sylt. In 2009, fox were discovered on Vlieland. They were presumably illegally released on the island. The State Forestry is in the process of catching the animals.

    The lack of fox on the Dutch Wadden Islands is the key to the success of the spoonbill colonies there. On the mainland, for example Zwanenwater and Naardermeer, the fox has scared away the breeding colonies. The birds returned to the Zwanenwater after an electrical anti-fox fence was placed. The colony from the Naardermeer found new nesting areas on the Wadden Islands and in Flevoland.