The historical range of the swift fox includes the entire Great Plains region. But these reintroductions to the northern part of the swift fox’s range remain fragile, with just over 1,000 animals living along the Montana-Canada border. 1. Facebook … Photographer. Swift foxes made a comeback after successful reintroduction efforts began in 1983 in Canada and on the Blackfeet and Fort Peck Indian Reservations … More than 70 per cent of Canada’s native prairie grasslands have been lost, and they are continuing to disappear. Swift foxes originally ranged from the plains of western Canada and across the Great Plains of North America to Texas. 1999). They are native to the the western grasslands of North America. Historically, the swift fox’s range extended from central Alberta, Canada, southward through the Great Plains to west-central Texas. The Fort Belknap swift fox reintroduction marks the eighth effort of its kind. Swift Foxes are closely related to the Kit Fox and almost became extinct in the 1930s. Historically, Swift Foxes occurred in mixed– or short–grass prairie from central Alberta, south to central Texas and from North Dakota, west to central Colorado (Allardyce and Sovada 2003; Figure 2) – an estimated range of approximately 1.6 million km² (Scott–Brown et al. Swift foxes (Vulpes velox) were reduced to about 5% of their historic numbers across their range and completely extirpated from the northern Great Plains in the 1800s and 1900s primarily due to poisoning and trapping campaigns aimed at coyotes and wolves. 2003. In 1999, the status of the swift fox was downlisted from "extirpated" to "endangered". During this same time they were also eliminated from the northern portion of their range. 2000) and larger than that reported from Colorado (7.6 km 2 — Kitchen et al. At present there are a few scattered populations of swift foxes in the Great Plains of the U.S. and in western Canada. Waters. The swift fox occupies a specialized niche in its environment, relying on the open, rolling short and mixed-grass prairies on which buffalo range, prairie dog burrows, and the prairie dogs and ground squirrels on which they feed. Swift foxes become active at night or in the early hours of dusk. Survival of swift foxes in our study was similar to that reported elsewhere, where survival ranged from 0.40 to 0.69 (Kitchen et al. 1987). By the 1930s, they had completely disappeared … Swift foxes disappeared entirely from Canada in the 1930s, but have been reintroduced there. Named for its speed, the swift fox will reach sixty kilometres per hour — a giant advantage for escaping predators! The breeding season ranges from December to March. Today the swift fox can be found in fragmented, smaller populations in portions of Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. Young become independent in autumn and breed the following season. Captive breeding of the swift fox at the Cochrane Ecological Institute, Alberta. Density of a locally abundant population in Wyoming was reported as one pair per 5 to 8 square kilometers (Clark and Stromberg 1987). Swift Fox (Vulpes velox) Habitat requirements General Swift foxes typically prefer short- or mixed-grass prai-rie with ﬂat to gently rolling terrain and low-growing sparse vegetation that allows for good mobility and visibility. Grey foxes often climb trees, enjoy sunning themselves and are not strictly nocturnal. The throat, chest, and belly range from pale yellow to white in color. Swift fox Information. Swift foxes are the smallest members of the dog family, but have vertical pupils, similar to cats, and have excellent night vision. Swift Fox. Photo credit: Gordon Court. The swift fox (Vulpes velox) is a small light orange-tan fox around the size of a domestic cat. Historically, their range included prairies in central North America, extending north to central Alberta, Canada, and south to central Texas, east-west from western Iowa to Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. The swift fox is closely related genetically to the kit fox (Vulpes macrotis), but occupies a different geographical range. Currently, the conservation status of the species is considered by the IUCN as Least Concern owing to stable populations elsewhere. The swift fox is the smallest wild dog in North America and among the smallest in the world — at two to three kilograms, it’s about as heavy as an adult Chihuahua — but it’s one of the biggest wildlife recovery stories. The Swift Fox: Ecology and Conservation in a Changing World. Quick Facts. By the late 1800s, the species had been largely extirpated from the northern portion of its historical range, and its populations were acutely depleted elsewhere. The swift fox is the smallest member of the dog family in North America. The home-range size of swift foxes in our study (11.7 km 2) was identical to that reported from Wyoming (11.7 km 2 — Pechacek et al. Description: Swift foxes are the second smallest fox species in North America after the Kit Fox, and can be great companions. Mating is in February to March with litters averaging 4 cubs (range 1-7), born about 63 days later. Swift fox numbers declined precipitously in the late 1800s, mainly due to poisoning intended for coyotes and wolves and the loss of grassland habitat. Their tail is black-tipped, and they have black patches on their muzzles. They are about 12 inches (30 cm) in height, and 31 inches (79 cm) long, measuring from the head to the tip of the tail, or about the size of a house cat. Historically, the range of this cat-sized fox stretched across the short grass prairies of Canada down through the central US to the Texas Panhandle. Photo credit: Gordon Court. It became nearly extinct in the 1930s as a result of predator control programs, but was successfully reintroduced later. Approximately 40 percent of the swift fox’s historical range in the United States is currently occupied by swift fox. Geographic Range. Swift Fox range encompasses some of the most modified landscapes in North America, and conversion of native prairie to agriculture has been implicated as a primary reason for the historical range contraction of this species. These swift fox pups make their home in Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan, Canada. Swift foxes are small creatures around the size of a domestic cat that live in North America. Price Range $$ Page Transparency See More. Range; Threats; Recovery ; Resources; Smaller than your typical housecat, the swift fox is one of the tiniest foxes in the world. Climate change and associated habitat changes and range shifts also contribute to an uncertain future for swift foxes. The Swift Fox (Vulpes velox) was once common in the shortgrass and mixed-grass prairies of the Great Plains of North America. Swift foxes were listed as endangered until 2009, after which their status was down-listed to threatened (COSEWIC 2009). The female produces 4 – 5 kits after a gestation period of 51 days. Smeeton, C., K. Weagle, and S.S. Established in 1964, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species. The swift fox is now re-established in part of its former territory in Canada. • Major threats to swift foxes include: habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation; predation and competitive ... disease; poisoning and trapping. During this same time they were also eliminated from the northern portion of their range. The reintroduction of the swift fox Vulpes velox to South Central Saskatchewan, Canada. The lifespan of a swift fox is about 3 to 6 years in the wild. Today, swift foxes only occur in about 40 per cent of their historic range. Named for its speed, the swift fox can reach 60 kilometres per hour — a big advantage for escaping predators! Swift fox numbers declined precipitously in the late 1800s, mainly due to poisoning intended for coyotes and wolves and the loss of grassland habitat. The two have historically been regarded as different species for reasons basically related to size: the kit fox is slightly smaller than the swift fox, and the former has a narrower snout. The swift fox is the smallest Canadian fox. In Canada, swift foxes are now found in only a small area of prairie grasslands in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Swift foxes may range over several square kilometers during a single night. Swift foxes were very susceptible to trapping and poisoning for gray wolves and coyotes in the early 1900s (Hoffmann and Pattie 1968). Range. Oryx 34(3): 171-179. But as agriculture and settlements overtook open grasslands, swift fox numbers declined precipitously. The Swift Fox (Vulpes velox) was once common in the shortgrass and mixed-grass prairies of the Great Plains of North America.The species' abundance declined and its distribution retracted following European settlement of the plains. Common Name: Swift Fox Scientific Name: Vulpes velox Diet: Omnivore Population: ~700+ Average Life Span: 3-6 years Length: Head & Body 18-33.75 inches; tail: 12-21.75 inches Height: ~1 foot Weight: 5-7+ pounds Swift Fox – Vulpes velox Status. Today, the range of the swift fox is limited to the western edge of its historic range. They have a dark, grayish, tan coloration that extends to a yellowish-tan color across their sides and legs. The captive specimen can live up to 14 years. By the late 1800s, the species had been largely extirpated from the northern portion of its historical range, and its populations were acutely depleted elsewhere. The Swift Fox (Vulpes velox) is a small tan fox that is close to the size of a domesticated cat. It could be found from Alberta to Texas and from Minnesota and Iowa to New Mexico and Montana. It is estimated that swift foxes can be found in only 44 percent of their historic range. Estimates of the number of swift foxes in the wild in this country range from 179 to 412, and recent studies indicate a slight increase. In 1995, the U.S. Swift foxes have quite a few predators in the wild. Threats: Swift foxes face many threats including trapping, poisoning, vehicle collisions, red fox range expansion, coyotes, and habitat loss and degradation. Many populations are now isolated. The ears are noticeably large. In the past, the swift fox was widely distributed across Texas and southern Canada, and inhabited all of North Dakota’s prairies. After the near annihilation of the bison, the grasses grew tall and the little swift fox was unable to scan for predators. By 1978, the species was declared extirpated in Canada, and by 1990, it was gone from 90 percent of its historic U.S. range. It weights in at just 2.5 kilograms and measures about 30 centimetres high at the shoulder. The species' abundance declined and its distribution retracted following European settlement of the plains. Swift fox range Synonyms; hebes Merriam, 1902; The swift fox lives primarily in short-grass prairies and deserts. In M. Sovada and L. Carbyn, Editors.
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