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Swift Fox Symposium

What Do These Swift Fox Really Do? Captive Swift Fox Behaviour During The Summer Months

Emma C. Teeling, Institute of Ecology and Resource Management, University of Edinburgh, West Mains Road, The King's Buildings, Edinburgh EH9 3JG.

Captive swift fox summer behaviour was observed for eight twenty-four-hour periods (196 hours). Eight different 'family' groups (35 individuals) were examined. A full descriptive ethogram of captive swift fox behaviour was established. Differences in behaviour of adults with and without kits was assessed. There was no temporal difference in behaviour pattern between wild and captive swift fox. Captive swift fox exhibited diel activity patterns peaking at 0230h, 0800h and 2100h. Performance of different behaviours was significantly affected by time. Kits partook in more investigatory and play behaviours than adult swift fox. Females were significantly affected by the presence of kits and spent more time grooming the kits than males. Wild born adult fox did not behave differently to captive born adults. 'Teaching behaviour' was exhibited by certain parent swift fox both captive born and wild born. The performance of particular behaviours were weakly correlated to temperature and windspeed.

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