More than 10,000 people ask for “the protection of the fox” in La Rioja


Friends of the Earth has reported that “more than 10,000 people request the protection of the fox in La Rioja” through a initiative. The red or common fox (Vulpes vulpes) is one of the two species of wild canids present in mainland Spain.

This species of fox lives in almost the entire Eurasian continent and is the most widely distributed wild mammal in the world, after humans.

For Friends of the Earth “the main reason for the excessive persecution of the fox has its roots in an uncertain bad reputation derived from hyperbolic prejudices in some rural areas, as well as in the pre-democratic campaigns of incentives for the lethal control of the misnamed vermin, all of which contrasts with the sociocultural importance that the species treasures and its exploits collected in the form of fables, popular imagination, etc”.

“The hunters persecute him, in turn, due to the presumed impact of this carnivore on some game species, particularly in the numbers of rabbits, hares and partridges,” they continue in a press release.

However, they continue, “the main factor in the decline of hunting populations of small game is not predators, but the perverse management of habitats by intensive agricultural and livestock activities, abusive hunting, diseases and adverse weather conditions.”

All modern scientific work maintains that fox populations provide ecosystem services of incalculable value in a scenario in which correct management for the preservation of biodiversity is urgent. Their role as first-order seed dispersers provides maintenance of the genetic diversity of plant populations in anthropic and fragmented areas, restoring gene flow in environments where it would be scarce or non-existent.

This wild canid forms part of the usual image of our landscapes, it is an ecologically key species for the control of insects, rodents and the young of small ungulates (such as roe deer and deer), it is a natural regulator of a wide variety of organisms that they can potentially cause epizootics and even a shield against pandemics.

The fox is the best natural and free rodenticide for agricultural interests, since an entire family of this animal can consume thousands of mice each season. In addition, it does not need human actions for its population control, because like all species, it has natural predators (owls and golden eagles, wolves, among others) and numerous non-natural mortality factors caused by growing human pressure (outrage, illegal hunting, dog attacks, etc.).

From any rigorous study, it can be deduced “that there is no clear need for generalized hunting management of the fox in Spain, at least in terms of conflict over resources with humans, and that key ecosystem values ​​are omitted from all hunting management plans. it provides.”

The size and population trends are unknown in the territory of La Rioja due to the absence of studies that prove it, although it is recognized that the population of foxes is currently widespread.

“But Riojan society in the 21st century demands a paradigm shift in the management of our wild fauna, and considering hunting as a priority management tool is a reckless matter due to the ecological importance and the services that some animals provide us, such as the foxes,” they say.

More than 10,000 people have supported the campaign launched by Friends of the Earth of La Rioja demanding an end to fox hunting. Countries like Luxembourg have banned fox hunting. “From our organization we request the ex officio inclusion of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in the Annex to the draft ‘La Rioja Biodiversity and Natural Heritage Law’ that develops the “Rioja List of Species under Special Protection Regime”, by the ecosystem services and the cultural value of the species. Only in this way would the Andreu Executive and the Department of Dorado demonstrate a real and effective commitment to the conservation of our natural heritage”.

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More than 10,000 people ask for “the protection of the fox” in La Rioja

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