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5.5.10 Is there an easy way to determine the age of foxes?

A number of methods have been described for determining the age of foxes, including morphological features, second dentition, wear of teeth, the number of dentin layers and the size of the pulpa cavity. However, for a proper epidemiological analysis of results obtained from monitoring ORV campaigns, it is really only necessary to distinguish between juvenile and adult foxes.

As a general rule, juveniles are considered foxes born in the same year, whereas foxes are considered adults as soon as they are more than one year old. A clear identification of juveniles based on morphological features can only be made between March and August, and after that period it is almost impossible to distinguish between juveniles and adults.

Another simple method that can be used under routine conditions is to look at the wear of the animal’s teeth. Sometimes, the size of the pulpa cavity of the canine tooth can be a good indication, as it is wider in juveniles and almost closed in adults. However, from January onwards, it is getting more difficult to differentiate between juveniles and adults using this method.


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Version 1 - Last updated November 2012