Channel 4 worked with Brighton University's ecology team to develop the most widespread study of the urban fox to date. Here, Dr Scott explained why it was so important to have your help with the biggest fox survey ever undertaken...
Fox populations are a topical and emotive issue that tend to arouse strongly opposing views, but our understanding of them is limited. Are populations growing? Are foxes a threat to us or our pets? Are they vermin, or an important part of our urban environment, enriching our urban lives? Foxes Live: Wild in the City hopes to uncover our nation’s answers to these questions, and that’s why we need you to take part in our unique experiment.
Your input is essential to the success of the project. We are trying to 'harness the power of the public' to further our scientific understanding of fox distributions, populations and interactions with people and pets.
Take part in our survey
We want this to be the biggest national survey ever of foxes. The more people who participate the better the information we have will be. Contribute, whether you have seen a fox or not - everyone's input is important.
The information you provide from the survey will give us vital data on interactions with foxes and your views. Our team at Brighton University will be able to answer questions such as how frequently people feed foxes, what is the average litter size, how frequently they are seen in people’s gardens – all essential data to helping to estimate population.
We are hoping to turn the data analysis around quite quickly, so it can be available for you to see and the scientific community to use. The project is the start of a bigger five-year Urban Biodiversity Project being carried out by Brighton University.
Spotted a fox? Report a fox sighting
We currently don't know what the fox population trend is, or if foxes are spreading into new cities.
We don't know on a national scale how frequently people encounter problems with foxes or the nation’s current views on foxes and your sightings will provide regional differences in sightings.
If you are reporting a sighting, you'll be helping us to collate more detailed data on the distribution of foxes which will help us understand where they are at present. Up to date records will hopefully allow us to produce updated population estimates for urban foxes.