Everybody would probably be able to easily identify a fox, it’s a pretty iconic animal and in Northern Europe one of our most abundant, truly wild, large mammals.
They live both in rural and urban environments and there is a popular notion that they are increasing in populated areas to the point where they become a pest or even pose a threat. But this can be challenged, some studies have shown that fox numbers are actually quite stable, we just see them more as we have moved into typical fox environments, building our houses and gardens.
When this happens some wild animals move, and by result gradually reduce their numbers, the famous effects of habitat loss. But Foxes have managed to buck this trend, managing to successful survive and perhaps even thrive, living next to humans.
Rather than their famous, and perhaps overestimated, cunning it is probably their adaptability that is the key. Importantly they are omnivores with a wide and varied diet, happy hunting but also scavenging. In urban environments they have the easy pickings of human leftovers together with lots of other small rodents, which foxes will happily take, available to feed on.
Like many mammals they are almost entirely nocturnal, so they hide away when the humans are out and about and they have no predators, and in urbans environments, hunters, to worry about.
I had trail cameras in the garden for several years though before I had a first fox visit. This suggests that there may not be a huge population in my area of suburban Paris.
I have seen that the visiting foxes coexiste quite happily with the hedgehogs, the two passing each other without much bother, however the encounters with my cats have been another matter. Initially I was a little worried for them but actually it seems that the cats are quite dominant.
To help the Foxes I regularly leave out water and food, typically a chicken egg. It seems like a good food choice, impenetrable to the weather and resistant to the attention of all of the other garden visitors.