Foxes are now more common in urban areas than the countryside, according to an RSPB survey about wildlife in Britain’s gardens: 38% of urban nature-watchers had seen one compared to 23% in rural areas. Large zones of the countryside have become inhospitable to wildlife, with intensive mono-crops and no hedgerows or woods to provide cover. So it’s no wonder that urban areas, full of potential hiding places and easy pickings in rubbish bins, are becoming increasingly attractive habitats for foxes.
The rise in the urban fox population is giving more business to pest controllers, who are called to trap the animals and have them put down. But this is a flawed strategy, as the RSPB point out:
Fox culling is unlikely to have any effect on the urban fox population. If a fox is removed from a food rich area, its territories will simply be seized by another. The most humane and long-term solution to deterring foxes is to remove or prevent access to things that are attracting them to the area, like food and shelter. Foxes can also be deterred by barriers such as fencing or prickly plants and chemical repellents.