The P.E.I. urban fox project has lost contact with one of its key participants.
'You're looking at about 29,000 points of data that I'm very eager to take a look at.' - Sheldon Opps
Last month researchers exploring the habits of foxes in the Charlottetown area trapped a female red fox in Stratford and put a GPS collar on it. A few days ago the team lost contact with the fox. That's when the collar was programmed to fall off the animal, and now they can't find it.
"We're faced with the challenge of trying to find a needle in a haystack," said researcher Sheldon Opps.
The fox is the first researchers were able to collar. The GPS collar is worth about $2,100, but Opps is more concerned about the information on it.
"On the collar that's missing right now you're looking at about 29,000 points of data that I'm very eager to take a look at," he said.
This is the first time researchers have attempted to track the movements of an urban fox. Researchers are looking for more information on what the foxes are eating, their range, and if their numbers are growing.
Researchers are asking for the public's help to find the collar. It looks like a small black dog collar with a battery pack attached, and there is a sticker on it with a phone number to call.
The fox had previously been spotted on Marion Drive in Stratford.
"The collar could be in somebody's back yard and they don't know it," said Opps.
"We're really hoping that people can just make a little bit of extra effort while walking their dog."
Whether or not the unit is found, researchers hope to collar more foxes this fall and winter.