Named for its speed, the swift fox will reach sixty kilometres per hour — a giant advantage for escaping predators! Swift foxes are small creatures around the size of a domestic cat that live in North America. 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. The historical range of the swift fox includes the entire Great Plains region. Range; Threats; Recovery ; Resources; Smaller than your typical housecat, the swift fox is one of the tiniest foxes in the world. Threats: Swift foxes face many threats including trapping, poisoning, vehicle collisions, red fox range expansion, coyotes, and habitat loss and degradation. Waters. 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. 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. Mating is in February to March with litters averaging 4 cubs (range 1-7), born about 63 days later. It is estimated that swift foxes can be found in only 44 percent of their historic range. 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. Description: Swift foxes are the second smallest fox species in North America after the Kit Fox, and can be great companions. Captive breeding of the swift fox at the Cochrane Ecological Institute, Alberta. 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 Fort Belknap swift fox reintroduction marks the eighth effort of its kind. Swift foxes are the smallest members of the dog family, but have vertical pupils, similar to cats, and have excellent night vision. The female produces 4 – 5 kits after a gestation period of 51 days. Young become independent in autumn and breed the following season. Swift fox Information. Currently, the conservation status of the species is considered by the IUCN as Least Concern owing to stable populations elsewhere. During this same time they were also eliminated from the northern portion of their range. 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. At present there are a few scattered populations of swift foxes in the Great Plains of the U.S. and in western Canada. 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. Swift Fox. Swift foxes disappeared entirely from Canada in the 1930s, but have been reintroduced there. In M. Sovada and L. Carbyn, Editors. Swift foxes made a comeback after successful reintroduction efforts began in 1983 in Canada and on the Blackfeet and Fort Peck Indian Reservations … Photo credit: Gordon Court. 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. The Swift Fox: Ecology and Conservation in a Changing World. • Major threats to swift foxes include: habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation; predation and competitive ... disease; poisoning and trapping. By 1978, the species was declared extirpated in Canada, and by 1990, it was gone from 90 percent of its historic U.S. range. 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. 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. The Swift Fox (Vulpes velox) was once common in the shortgrass and mixed-grass prairies of the Great Plains of North America. It weights in at just 2.5 kilograms and measures about 30 centimetres high at the shoulder. The throat, chest, and belly range from pale yellow to white in color. Swift foxes originally ranged from the plains of western Canada and across the Great Plains of North America to Texas. 2003. Swift Foxes are closely related to the Kit Fox and almost became extinct in the 1930s. 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. Historically, the swift fox’s range extended from central Alberta, Canada, southward through the Great Plains to west-central Texas. In Canada, swift foxes are now found in only a small area of prairie grasslands in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. 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. Price Range $$ Page Transparency See More. Today, the range of the swift fox is limited to the western edge of its historic range. 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. 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. During this same time they were also eliminated from the northern portion of their range. By the 1930s, they had completely disappeared … Swift foxes were listed as endangered until 2009, after which their status was down-listed to threatened (COSEWIC 2009). Swift foxes were very susceptible to trapping and poisoning for gray wolves and coyotes in the early 1900s (Hoffmann and Pattie 1968). More than 70 per cent of Canada’s native prairie grasslands have been lost, and they are continuing to disappear. Range. 2000) and larger than that reported from Colorado (7.6 km 2 — Kitchen et al. Swift fox range Synonyms; hebes Merriam, 1902; The swift fox lives primarily in short-grass prairies and deserts. Smeeton, C., K. Weagle, and S.S. The swift fox is the smallest member of the dog family in North America. Swift foxes become active at night or in the early hours of dusk. Named for its speed, the swift fox can reach 60 kilometres per hour — a big advantage for escaping predators! 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. Its speed, the swift fox lives primarily in short-grass prairies and deserts gray wolves and coyotes the... 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