Gray Fox Climate Change Study

I am a senior Conservation Biology student at UC Davis researching the Gray Foxes on the

Quail Ridge Reserve

near Lake Berryessa.  I am leading the project under Mary Brooke McElreath through the

UC Davis John Muir Institute of the Environment

.  I am building a database on the Lake Berryessa gray fox home ranges to learn how the ranges are shifting in light of climate change.  The study will also help us fine tune a newly developed telemetry system,


, which will allow us to more easily study other species within the reserve.  Once fully established, this system will constantly gather data on radio-collared species within the reserve and create a long term database which is a gold-mine for better understanding the wildlife, their spatial ecology, and their roles in the ecosystem.

Currently there are 11 ear-tagged foxes on the reserve, 3 of which are radio-collared, and 8 motion sensor cameras are deployed that photograph the foxes and other wildlife.  These cameras help catalog animal activity patterns and monitor any changes in the future.  Each fox was weighed and sedated before measurements, a blood sample, and a tissue DNA sample were taken.  The foxes were also sexed and checked for parasites before being tagged and collared.

Tracking the foxes, setting the cameras, replacing the batteries, and analyzing the data takes a lot of equipment and time.  These funds will allow me to tag and monitor more foxes and gain a more complete dataset through the purchase of addional motion sensor cameras, GPS units, and help with expenses. Tracking foxes, which tend to have very large home ranges, is critical to fine tuning the


system and will allow us to gain more accurate data for all of the telemetry projects on the reserve, including the gray fox, dusky-footed woodrat, migratory bird, and brush mouse research.

Thank you in advance for helping me research this amazing and adorable species!

Gray Fox Breeding Pair

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Spera with her tags and radio collar.

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Additional wildlife photos of animals found on the reserve are posted below.

Mountain Lion

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Gray Fox with his/her dinner

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Gray Fox



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Black Bear

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