BBC Two’s Autumnwatch, which starts Monday (October 23) at 8pm, will be featuring the testing which has been put together by the university’s mammalian biologist Dr Dawn Scott.
Dr Scott, Assistant Head of the university’s School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, said: “We are interested in how animals have adapted to urban habitats. Urban habitats are structurally complex environments with a wide range of food sources but sometimes those food are in difficult places to get to – so an animal that can solve problems quicker may do better in urban habitats.
“Urban environments also have lots of novel objects – if foxes are fearful they may not do as well in an urban environment as a fox that can quickly habituate to new objects.
“Our question is are foxes in urban areas less fearful and have a greater ability to solve problems than their rural counterparts?
“We can test this by looking at how animals respond to a new object in their garden. How close they come and how quickly they become habituate to it.