Searching for Swift Foxes

By | September 11, 2018

FWP’s Montana Outdoors magazine has an article that says…

The swift fox is named for its lightning speed—nearly 40 miles an hour in a sprint. It’s the smallest canid in North America, about the size of a house cat. It weighs just 5 pounds, about half the weight of a red fox, and stands only 12 inches at the shoulder.

Swift foxes were once abundant on the Great Plains, racing across short- and mixed-grass prairie in pursuit of prairie dogs and ground squirrels, their primary prey. But starting in the late 1800s, trappers began overharvesting the curious, easily captured animals. In the early 20th century, the federal government began widescale extermination campaigns that poisoned wolves and rodents. Swift foxes were inadvertently poisoned when they ate toxic bait. As wolves disappeared, coyote and red fox numbers grew, outcompeting the smaller swift foxes. Adding to the loss was the conversion of prairie habitat as grasslands were converted to cropland.

Read the full article here.

Category: News

About NFNews Editor

Patti Hart is the editor-in-chief and founder of the Patti lives on the North Fork during the summers and travels the world for the rest of the year, updating NFNews every day wherever there is an internet connection.

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