~ Publication details ~

Murdoch, J., T. Munkhzul, S. Buyandelger, and R. Reading. 2009. Biotope of corsac fox and red fox in Ikh Nart Nature Reserve. Mongolian Journal of Biological Sciences 5:7-12.

Abstract - Corsac foxes (Vulpes corsac) and red foxes (V. vulpes) range widely across northern and central Asia, occupying a variety of arid biotopes. In Mongolia, both species live sympatrically throughout most of the country, but few details of their habitat associations exist. We examined the biotope of corsac and red foxes in Ikh Nart Nature Reserve in Dornogobi Aimag, Mongolia, which lies at the confluence of steppe and semi-desert vegetation zones. We evaluated the extent to which both species occur in these two zones and the habitats within them based on locations of scats (n = 1,967), opportunistic sightings (n = 219), and captures (n = 35) collected from August 2004 to August 2007. Corsac and red foxes occurred in both steppe and semi-desert zones and all habitat types in the reserve. However, corsacs occurred more frequently than expected in steppe zone and red foxes occurred more than expected in semi-desert zone. Corsac locations associated positively with steppe habitats, including grass, shrub, and semi-shrub plains, whereas red fox locations fell mainly in drier, more rugged semi-desert habitats, suggesting ecological separation exists between species. As corsac and red foxes appear to be declining in Mongolia, our results suggest that protection efforts in Ikh Nart should focus on steppe habitats for corsacs and semi-desert habitats for red foxes.

Publisher - National University of Mongolia

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