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A young fox explores the world beyond its den at Mashomack. (Credit: Jim Colligan)

The summer population has started to swell on Shelter Island.

At least three kits, or young foxes, have been spotted outside their den at the island’s Mashomack Preserve.

Foxes have become scarce over the last several years and the three young foxes are welcome new residents, for almost everyone except young turkeys.

Preserve Director Mike Laspia has described the fox population as cyclical. Fox numbers were dramatically down for a while because of an outbreak of mange and distemper among the canines.

But nature’s cycle is spinning and the fox is making a comeback.