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Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to ARKive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends. Can European Red Foxes destroy or disrupt food chains in their ecosystems?European Red Foxesare omnivores and eat mostly rodents, eastern cottontail rabbits, frogs, eggs, fish, insects and fruit. GenusDyscophus (1)Tomato frogs (Dyscophus antongilii) live up to their name by possessing a vibrant, orange-red colour (2).
Tomato frog biologyTomato frogs breed in February to March following heavy rainfall; the sounds of males calling to attract females can be heard around small water bodies in the dark Malagasy night (2). Tomato frog rangeEndemic to Madagascar, tomato frogs are found in the northeast of the island around Antongil Bay (from which they gain their specific name, antongilii) (5), and south to Andevoranto (4). Tomato frog habitatThe tomato frog breeds in shallow pools, swamps and areas of slow-moving water. Tomato frog threatsNumbers of the tomato frog have been declining as a result of habitat degradation and pollution and the over-collection of these brightly coloured amphibians for the pet trade (4).

Tomato frog conservationResearch into captive breeding techniques for the tomato frog has been carried out by Baltimore Zoo in the United States in an effort to boost the currently small and genetically deprived captive population that exists in that country (4). Females are much larger than males and have brighter tones of red or orange on their back, with a pale undersurface (4). Following copulation, females will lay a clutch of 1,000 to 15,000 eggs on the surface of the water (2). The exact distribution of this species is unclear however, due to confusion with the closely related D. Collecting activity, and the associated decline in population, was predominately focused near to the town of Maroantsetra (6).
Red Foxes hunt alone and are nocturnal, so they usually hunt at night.European Red Foxes are able to destroy food chains. Tadpoles hatch from these small black and white eggs about 36 hours later (2); they are only around six millimetres long and feed by filter-feeding (5). According to the desert food chain, if they eat all the snakes, rodents and lizards, the hawk will have no food in return, leaving it to suffer of starvation.

Tadpoles undergo metamorphosis into yellow juveniles and this stage is completed around 45 days after the eggs were laid (2). Very little is known about the tomato frog and further research into its distribution, behaviour and potential threats is urgently needed before effective conservation measures can be put into place (6). This could happen if the foxes have a large population in deserts.In the forest food chain, the fox eats birds and rodents, so if they ate all the birds, there is a slight chance that insects can over populate. It is currently listed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), but this move has been criticised by some authors as an ineffective strategy and one that has undermined the status of the unlisted D. The insects could over populate if most of the birds are gone, but the insects might not over populate, as there are oppossums and skunks that also eat them.In the top food chain, the foxes eat mainly rodents and birds.
The hawks and owls will also suffer if the foxes eat all the rodents and birds, leaving nothing for the hawks and owls to eat, which could lead to the extinction of them.European Red FoxesEXTRA!

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