Intrepid fox travels down M27 hard shoulder during 25km voyage

AN intrepid fox travelled 25km in just one night followed by a hair-raising excursion along the M27 motorway.

Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 4:29 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 5:37 pm

The female fox, or vixen, was fitted with a GPS collar by Fordingbridge-based Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) as part of the charity’s research into fox behaviour.

The charity’s predator ecologist Mike Short fitted the fox with the tracker at a New Forest site in April - revealing the remarkable journey.

The tracker showed she travelled about 25km across the New Forest, before settling near Totton.

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The fox with a water vole

After a few days she ventured into Totton town centre. On another occasion she was tracked doing some risky foraging along the hard shoulder of the M27.

After a week or so the adventurous vixen was on the move again, this time heading south-west. Leaving Ower near Totton around 10pm, she covered about 20km back across the New Forest to the Avon Valley, following the A31 for some of her journey.

By 5am she had arrived at the edge of a country estate just south of Ringwood which is an internationally important breeding ground for several threatened species of wading birds including lapwing and redshank.

Mike said: ‘We don’t know where our vixen came from, but she showed how easily a fox can travel 20km in one night. This could indicate that some of the foxes that threaten the Avon Valley’s wading birds may migrate from Southampton or Bournemouth and Poole.

‘GPS tracking is helping us unravel the lives of foxes and their habits.’

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