De vos Vulpes vulpes in Vlaanderen : inventarisatie en synthese van de belangrijkste knelpunten
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Contribution to Communications of Research Institute for Nature and Forest
|Title of host publication||Mededelingen 1995/1|
|Number of pages||29|
|Publisher||Instituut voor Bosbouw en Wildbeheer|
|Publication status||Published - 1995|
It's a striking fact that the fox Vulpes vulpes population in Flanders has been increasing very strongly during the last decennium, both in area as in density. Parallel to this, the discussion about position and management of the species has been stimulated heavely. An analytical appraoch of the matter is necessary to distinguish clearly the several interests of the sectors involved. The major issues at stake are hunting, poultry farming, nature conservation and public health.
The locally spectacular increase of fox numbers in Flanders has been leading to a gauge of suppositions and rumours. However, the many persistent stories about artificial introductions do lack any prove of accuracy, and are very implausible because of several reasons.
The Flemish fox expansion fits in a phenomenon recorded all over Western Europe. The exact
causes are unclear. It seems to be a result of a 'tendency fracture' in fox population dynamics,
ever since heavy persecution of the species, in order to eradicate rabies, was replaced by the oral
immunisation technique at several places.
The fact that we are dealing with a spontaneous phenomenon, in stead of an unnatural situationfixed by 'ecologists', is not unimportant in relation to the subjective perception by those who have fox dammage.Taking into account the very wide international literature about foxes, is it possible to putforward some far-reaching statements about the consequences of the increased fox population in
Flanders. One can consider it as a matter of fact, that hunting interest is being damaged, especially
by the competition between game keeper and natural predator.
Actually, it seems to be quite certain that the legitimate reasons for fox persecution boil down toonly that interest. In order to throw light on the whole issue, an investigation project has recentlybeen started under the authority of the Ministry of the Flemish Community (AMINAL), and isbeing executed by the University of Antwerp (RUCA) in cooperation with the Institute forForestry and Game Management.
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