A series of measurements (lengths, circumferences, skinfolds, masses and resistance) was taken on 29 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) of both sexes before and after their death during the autumns of 1994 and 1995. Body composition of each carcass was determined by chemical analysis of homogenized samples of viscera, carcass and skin. Eight multiple regression models were then developed to predict body water, fat, protein, and mineral mass using body measurements as independent variables taken on live or dead animals. All final models were highly significant (P < 0.0001) and included three or four explanatory variables. Adjusted coefficients of determination varied between 0.95 for water mass and 0.81 for mineral mass. The models cover a wide range of conditions as percent body fat in the 29 samples varied between 1.1 and 28.4%. Our models can serve for management or research purposes with live or dead red foxes as they are quick, inexpensive and nondestructive.
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Vol. 35 • No. 2