Species Profile

Swift Fox

Scientific Name: Vulpes velox
Taxonomy Group: Mammals
COSEWIC Range: Alberta, Saskatchewan
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: May 2021
COSEWIC Status: Threatened
COSEWIC Status Criteria: D1
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: This small prairie canid was extirpated from Canada in the 1930s. Following reintroduction programs initiated in 1983, it has re-established in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan as well as in Northern Montana. Regular monitoring suggests that the population reached a peak in 2005 but had subsequently declined when surveyed again in 2014/15. The reason for the decline is unknown but suspected to be related to severe winter conditions in 2010/11. Occupancy surveys in 2015 and 2018 suggest the population has remained stable since 2010/11. The species persists at very low numbers. Threats include accidental or intentional poisoning, disease, habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, and severe winters.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Last seen in Saskatchewan in 1928. Designated Extirpated in April 1978. Status re-examined and designated Endangered in April 1998 after successful re-introductions. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2000. Status re-examined and designated Threatened in November 2009. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2021.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Threatened
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2003-06-05

Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.

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Quick Links: | Photo | Description | Distribution and Population | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | Recovery Initiatives | Recovery Team | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Swift Fox

Swift Fox Photo 1

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Description

The Swift Fox is smaller and more slender than the Red Fox, and is lighter in colour. It is buffy-yellow with a black tip on its bushy tail. Its ears are relatively large and pointed. The fur grows in thicker towards the end of the summer. The Swift Fox measures approximately 80 cm in length, of which its tail makes up about 28 cm, and stands about 30 cm high at the shoulder. On average, the male fox weighs 2.45 kg and the female weighs 2.25 kg.

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Distribution and Population

The Swift Fox was once found in dry prairie habitat from the southern Canadian prairie to Texas, but the species began to decline early this century. The last Canadian specimen was captured in Govenlock, Saskatchewan in 1928. The Swift Fox has made a comeback in much of its U.S. range and is being reintroduced in Canada. Captive breeding of the Swift Fox in Canada began in 1973 through a privately-run program. This program expanded into an intensive reintroduction project involving federal agencies, academia, and non-government organizations. Between 1983 and 1997, 942 Swift Foxes were released in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Although the majority of the original stock of released foxes has perished, the reintroduction efforts have been successful, and small populations have become established in the southern Alberta/Saskatchewan border area (about 192 foxes in 1997) and in the Wood Mountain/Grasslands National Park Reserve region in Saskatchewan (about 87 foxes in 1997). In 1999, the status of the Swift Fox was downlisted from "extirpated" to "endangered". In 1999, there were an estimated 279 foxes in the wild, with the two wild populations remaining small.

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Habitat

Swift Foxes prefer open, sparsely vegetated short-grass and mixed-grass prairie, where visibility and mobility are unimpeded. Native vegetation common in such grasslands includes buffalo grass, bluestem, and wire grass.

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Biology

Swift Foxes are mainly nocturnal. During the day they usually remain in the vicinity of the den. They often live in pairs, although they may not mate for life. Breeding usually occurs between January and March. The gestation period is about 50 days. Pups born in captivity in Canada are born from mid-April to mid-May. An average litter consists of 4 or 5 pups, though litters of from 1 to 8 pups are possible. The Swift Fox is named for its speed; individuals have been recorded running faster than 60 km/hr. Swift Foxes mostly eat mice, cottontail rabbits, and carrion (dead and decaying animals), although other small mammals, birds, insects, reptiles and amphibians are also taken as available.

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Threats

The conversion of native prairie grasslands to farmland has reduced both the quantity and quality of habitat available to the Swift Fox over much of its former range. The Swift Fox is very vulnerable to shooting and trapping since it is not wary of humans, and poison used to kill coyotes has been detrimental to the species. Predation by coyotes, eagles, and Red-tailed and Rough-legged Hawks is a potential threat to the Swift Fox.

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Protection

Federal Protection

The Swift Fox is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.

The Swift Fox is protected under the Canada National Parks Act where it occurs in Grasslands National Park. It is also protected by the Saskatchewan and Alberta Wildlife Acts. Under these Acts, it is prohibited to kill, harm, or harass this species.

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Recovery Initiatives

Status of Recovery Planning

Recovery Strategies :

Name Recovery Strategy for the swift fox (Vulpes velox) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry

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Recovery Team

Alberta Swift Fox Recovery Team

  • Joel Nicholson - Chair/Contact - Government of Alberta
    Phone: 403-528-5202  Fax: 403-362-5212  Send Email

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Recovery Progress and Activities

Summary of Progress to Date A private captive Swift Fox breeding program initiated by the Smeeton family in 1972 expanded into an intensive reintroduction project involving many partners. Reintroductions using 841 captive-bred foxes and 91 wild translocated foxes occurred from 1983 to 1997. With considerable support from landowners, ranchers, hunters, farmers, and generous individuals and charitable foundations, populations of Swift Fox have been established in the southern Alberta/Saskatchewan border area and in the Wood Mountain/Grasslands National Park region of Saskatchewan. These populations occupy a relatively small proportion of the historical range of Swift Fox in Canada. While some expansion of the current distribution is possible, it will likely be limited as a large amount of the remaining historical Canadian distribution has been cultivated and may not provide suitable Swift Fox habitat. Nevertheless, Swift Fox have successfully survived and bred in the Canadian reintroduction sites and dispersed into neighbouring habitat in northern Montana. The first USA reintroduction program began in 1998 and has successfully established a Swift Fox population on Blackfeet lands adjacent to the Canada?US Border in north western Montana. In total, these reintroductions have significantly expanded the Swift Fox populations on the Northern Great Plains. Summary of Research/Monitoring Activities A feasibility study completed in 1992, as part of the Canadian Swift Fox Recovery Program, determined that, in spite of the loss of the majority of native prairie, the successful reintroduction of Swift Fox could be achieved with another 3 to 5 years of Swift Fox releases. Additional field studies were conducted along the borders of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Montana from January 1995 until January 1999. One hundred and twenty five Swift Foxes were live-trapped and 76 Swift Foxes and 11 radio-collared coyotes also were tracked. Interesting findings included the discovery that Swift Fox could breed in their first year, that litter sizes increased with an increase in the body weight of the female, and how developed the pups are by autumn reflects the date that they emerged from the den. Coyote and eagle predation each accounted for 36.8% of Swift Fox mortalities and the type of predation differed between seasons and years. Collisions with vehicles have been identified as another significant cause of Swift Fox mortality. Females with kits often select dens close to roads, which creates a challenge for controlling this source of mortality. Average Swift Fox home range sizes of 31.9 km2 were the largest recorded to date. Home ranges were greater in the winter than summer and 64% of Swift Fox pups located in the winter were still found in the same territories that they were born in. Pipeline construction was not responsible for movement differences before vs. after development but site disturbance before construction was linked to a lack of Swift Fox reproduction. Canadian Swift Fox survival and population sustainability may be enhanced through increases in small prey availability and refuge holes created by badgers, decreases in human-caused mortality, and the cooperative mitigation of industrial developments. Live-trapping population surveys of Swift Foxes in the regions of the Alberta and Saskatchewan reintroduction sites were conducted in 1996-7 and again in 2000-2001. The Alberta/Saskatchewan border population almost tripled between 1997 (192 foxes) and 2001 (560 foxes). The Wood Mountain/Grasslands National Park region population remained relatively stable, with about 87 individuals in 1997 and 96 in 2001. Eighty-eight percent of individuals trapped in 1995-1998, and 98.6 % of Swift Foxes trapped in 2000-2001 were born in the wild, indicating that the Canadian Swift Fox population is successfully reproducing on its own. During the 2000-2001 population survey, the Alberta/Saskatchewan border population was found to be linked to the Wood Mountain/Grasslands National Park region population through the northern Montana population, whereas these populations had previously been considered separate. The implications of this finding are important, including a reduced risk of the genetic problems associated with fragmented populations, but also an increased possibility for disease to spread between Swift Fox populations. GIS habitat models indicate that native prairie areas that are flat, not fragmented, and not annually cropped are most favoured by Swift Foxes. Refinements to reintroduction release methodology have reduced post-release mortality of captive reared Swift Fox. Another census of Swift Foxes in Canada and Montana will take place in 2005-6. The primary questions researchers hope to address during this study are whether the abundance, habitat selection, sex ratio, age structure, disease prevalence, and genetic connectivity have changed. These results will be important for assessing population sustainability and recovery status. Summary of Recovery Activities The Canadian reintroduction program released both wild-born and Canadian captive-raised foxes between 1983 and 1997. Swift Foxes captured in the United States were used for both captive breeding and wild releases in Canada. Using foxes from several States increased genetic diversity of the founder population. The majority of the current Swift Fox distribution is in habitat that is owned or leased to private land managers. Public support for the Swift Fox reintroduction is high, likely because Swift Foxes are intrinsically interesting and do not conflict with native rangeland domestic livestock interests. The continued goodwill and support of local people will be crucial for the long-term survival of this species. The Swift Fox Recovery Team has worked to integrate Swift Fox habitat conservation into government land use planning and regulations. For example, the Team hopes to finalize a Swift Fox habitat model in the next year that can be used to identified areas of native prairie that are high priority for voluntary habitat securement programs Federally funded by the Species-at-Risk Habitat Stewardship program. There also have been some improvements in government commitment to maintaining government owned native prairie. For example, Saskatchewan?s Representative Areas Network Program helped to protect 750,973 ha of native prairie, some of which is suitable Swift Fox habitat. Swift Fox are vulnerable to trapping and poisoning activities targeting other species such as skunks (rabies control) or coyotes. Policy and best practices are being developed to limit the amount of incidental mortality of Swift Foxes. Recently, the Cochrane Ecological Research Institute has been working with the Blood Tribe on a Swift Fox reintroduction in SW Alberta. Both the Blood Tribe of SW Alberta and the Blackfeet Tribe of NW Montana are members of the Blackfoot Confederacy, and consider the Swift Fox a species of cultural and spiritual importance. In 2004, 15 Swift Foxes were released on Blood Tribe land and future reintroductions are being considered. There is a potential native prairie corridor linking the Blackfeet reintroduction site in NW Montana and Blood Tribe site in SW Alberta. URL

Hinterland Who's Who: Swift Fox: http://www.hww.ca/hww2.asp?pid=1&cid=8&id=105

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Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

23 record(s) found.

Reports on the Progress of Recovery Document Implementation

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Swift Fox Vulpes velox in Canada (2010-09-03)

    Standing 30–32 cm at the shoulder with a body mass of 1.6–3.0 kg, the Swift Fox (Vulpes velox) is North America’s smallest canid. Males are slightly larger than females. The fur is long and dense in winter. The upper parts are generally dark buffy-grey, the sides, legs, and beneath the tail are orange-tan, and the undersides are buff to pure white. In summer, the fur is shorter and more rufous. Swift Foxes have black patches on either side of their muzzles and black-tipped tails.
  • COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the Swift Fox Vulpes velox in Canada (1998-05-01)

    The swift fox began to decline as native grasslands were converted to agricultural lands in the late 1800s. Loss of habitat combined with predation, competition (primarily from coyotes and golden eagles), interspecific competition for food with coyotes, vulnerability to trapping, poisoning programs, drought conditions, and winter severity all likely contributed to the extirpation of the swift fox from Canada by the late 1930s. Captive breeding in Canada began in the early1960's and continued in 1973. This was expanded into an intensive reintroduction project involving federal agencies, universities and non-government organizations. Swift foxes were first released into Alberta and Saskatchewan in 1983 and 1984 respectively. By 1997, 942 foxes had been released in the two provinces.

COSEWIC Assessments

  • COSEWIC Assessment Summary and Status Report: Swift Fox Vulpes velox (2010-09-03)

    Assessment Summary – November 2009 Common name Swift Fox Scientific name Vulpes velox Status Threatened Reason for designation This species was extirpated from Canada in the 1930s. Following reintroduction programs in Alberta and Saskatchewan initiated in 1983, they have re–established populations in these areas and in northern Montana. Population numbers and distribution have increased since that time, with the current estimate in Canada having doubled to 647 since the last COSEWIC assessment in 2000. Connectivity between populations has also improved during this time, particularly through northern Montana. Since 2001, population numbers and distribution have remained stable and habitat for this species within Canada appears to be saturated. Most improvement in overall population status can be attributed to populations in Montana, which are still demonstrating increasing trends in numbers and distribution. Deteriorating habitat in Canada and the threat of disease (as seen in other canids) could threaten the continued recovery of this species. Occurrence Alberta, Saskatchewan Status history Last seen in Saskatchewan in 1928. Designated Extirpated in April 1978. Status re–examined and designated Endangered in April 1998 after successful re–introductions. Status re–examined and confirmed in May 2000. Status re–examined and designated Threatened in November 2009. Please note that the related COSEWIC Status Report is available below in PDF format. You will be asked to provide your e-mail address then you will receive a link to download the publication. After processing, your email address is not retained in any way and is automatically discarded by our system.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Swift Fox (2010-12-02)

    This species was extirpated from Canada in the 1930s. Following reintroduction programs in Alberta and Saskatchewan initiated in 1983, they have re-established populations in these areas and in northern Montana.   Population numbers and distribution have increased since that time, with the current estimate in Canada having doubled to 647 since the last COSEWIC assessment in 2000. Connectivity between populations has also improved during this time, particularly through northern Montana.  Since 2001, population numbers and distribution have remained stable and habitat for this species within Canada appears to be saturated. Most improvement in overall population status can be attributed to populations in Montana, which are still demonstrating increasing trends in numbers and distribution. Deteriorating habitat in Canada and the threat of disease (as seen in other canids) could threaten the continued recovery of this species.
  • Response Statement - Swift Fox (2022-01-10)

    This small prairie canid was extirpated from Canada in the 1930s. Following reintroduction programs initiated in 1983, it has re-established in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan as well as in Northern Montana. Regular monitoring suggests that the population reached a peak in 2005 but had subsequently declined when surveyed again in 2014/15. The reason for the decline is unknown but suspected to be related to severe winter conditions in 2010/11. Occupancy surveys in 2015 and 2018 suggest the population has remained stable since 2010/11. The species persists at very low numbers. Threats include accidental or intentional poisoning, disease, habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, and severe winters.

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy for the swift fox (Vulpes velox) in Canada (2008-01-14)

    Swift foxes are cat-sized canids with pale yellowish-red and grey on the upperparts peppered with white and black-tipped hairs; they average 30 cm high at the shoulders and weigh 2.2-2.4 kg (James 1823, Bailey 1926, Soper 1964). Swift foxes have a characteristic black tipped tail and black patches on either side of the muzzle (Seton 1909, Rand 1948).

Action Plans

  • Action Plan for Multiple Species at Risk in Southwestern Saskatchewan: South of the Divide (2017-11-20)

    The Minister of Environment is the competent minister under SARA for the recovery of the species on lands covered by this action plan and has prepared it to partially implement the associated recovery strategies, as per section 49 of SARA. To the extent possible, it has been prepared in cooperation with the Government of Saskatchewan (Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Water Security Agency, Ministry of the Economy) and with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Parks Canada Agency.
  • Multi-species Action Plan for Grasslands National Park of Canada (2016-07-05)

    The Multi-species Action Plan for Grasslands National Park of Canada applies to lands and waters occurring within the boundaries of Grasslands National Park of Canada (GNP). The plan meets the requirements for action plans set out in the Species At Risk Act (SARA s.47) for species requiring an action plan and that regularly occur at this site. Measures described in this plan will also provide benefits for other species of conservation concern that regularly occur at GNP.

Orders

  • Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessments Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Act (volume 145, number 23, 2011) (2011-11-09)

    His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, hereby acknowledges receipt, on the making of this Order, of assessments conducted under subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada with respect to the species set out in the annexed schedule.
  • Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (volume 146, number 14, 2012) (2012-07-04)

    The purpose of the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act is to add 18 species to Schedule 1, the List of Wildlife Species at Risk (the List), and to reclassify 7 listed species, pursuant to subsection 27(1) of SARA. This amendment is made on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment based on scientific assessments by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and on consultations with governments, Aboriginal peoples, stakeholders and the Canadian public.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 (2010-09-03)

    Under Canada’s Species At Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. During the past year, COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings and reviewed the status of 79 wildlife species (species, subspecies, populations). During the meeting of November 2009, COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of the status of 28 wildlife species. COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of an additional 51 wildlife species (species, subspecies and populations) during their April 2010 meeting. For species already found on Schedule 1 of SARA, the classification of 32 species was reviewed by COSEWIC and the status of the wildlife species was confirmed to be in the same category (extirpated - no longer found in the wild in Canada but occurring elsewhere, endangered, threatened or of special concern). The wildlife species assessment results for the 2009-2010 reporting period include the following: Extirpated: 6 Endangered: 39 Threatened: 16 Special Concern: 17 Data Deficient: 1 This report transmits to the Minister the status of 46 species newly classified as extirpated, endangered, threatened or of special concern, fulfilling COSEWIC’s obligations under SARA Section 24 and 25. A full detailed summary of the assessment for each species and the reason for the designation can be found in Appendix I of the attached report. Since its inception, COSEWIC has assessed 602 wildlife species in various risk categories, including 262 Endangered, 151 Threatened, 166 Special Concern and 23 Extirpated. In addition, 13 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct. Also, to date, 46 wildlife species have been identified by COSEWIC as Data Deficient and 166 wildlife species were assessed as Not at Risk. This year has been a particularly productive year for COSEWIC’s Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) Subcommittee. In April 2010 COSEWIC approved the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Process and Protocol Guidelines, providing clear and agreed principles for the gathering of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge to carry out COSEWIC functions as required under Section 15(2) of SARA (See Appendix III of the attached report). We are grateful for the rich and enthusiastic contribution made by community elders and experts in helping the ATK Subcommittee prepare the ATK protocols.
  • COSEWIC Annual Report 2020 to 2021 (2021-10-12)

    Over the past year COSEWIC assessed a total of 66 wildlife species, of which 4 were assigned a status of Not at Risk. Of these 66, COSEWIC re-examined the status of 41 wildlife species; of these, 80% were reassessed at the same or lower level of risk. To date and with the submission of this report, COSEWIC’s assessments now include 826 wildlife species in various risk categories including 369 Endangered, 196 Threatened, 239 Special Concern, and 22 Extirpated (i.e. no longer found in the wild in Canada). In addition, 19 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct, 62 wildlife species have been designated as Data Deficient, and 202 have been assessed as Not at Risk.

Permits and Related Agreements

  • Explanation for issuing permit(#2005 05AB), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2005-10-15)

    International Swift Fox Population Census: Swift fox catch-and-release trapping will be conducted in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Montana. This permit concerns the portion of the research that will take place on PFRA (Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration) lands in Canada. It is not known how many foxes will be trapped but it could be more than 200 for the whole region. The foxes will be assessed for body condition and health, blood and hair will be sampled for genetic testing, and animals will be tagged. Research will be conducted to develop and standardize faecal genetic censusing techniques consecutively with the live-trapping procedures in hopes of developing a less invasive censusing technique.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#33), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2006-11-10)

    International Swift Fox Population Census: Swift fox catch-and-release trapping will be conducted in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Montana. This permit concerns the portion of the research that will take place on PFRA (Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration) lands in Canada. It is not known how many foxes will be trapped but it could be more than 200 for the whole region. The foxes will be assessed for body condition and health, blood and hair will be sampled for genetic testing, and animals will be tagged. Research will be conducted to develop and standardize faecal genetic censusing techniques consecutively with the live-trapping procedures in hopes of developing a less invasive censusing technique.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#GRA-2014-17576 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2014-11-01)

    To monitor the abundance, density, occupancy, and genetic clustering of swift fox (Vulpes velox) populations in and around Grasslands National Park. The data collected will inform subsequent management actions concerning swift foxes in Grasslands National Park, and the project is consistent with the federal Recovery Strategy for the swift fox in Canada. Camera-trapping: Replicating the live-trapping protocol that had previously been employed for population surveys spanning from 1996 - 2006, and replicating the 2008/2009, 2013/2014 camera sampling protocols, motion-sensor cameras will be placed along 5 km transects at 1 km intervals, set, and then retrieved after three nights of sampling. In previously sampled townships, scent-stations will be placed at the location of previous sampling sites. Reconyx motion-sensor activated cameras will be mounted on custom-made iron stakes and positioned approximately 40 cm from the ground facing the scent-post at a distance of 3-5 metres. Live-trapping: Swift fox trapping will be conducted from November 1, 2014 until February 20, 2015. Individual live-traps will be placed at one-kilometre intervals along a five kilometre continuous section of the trail closest to the center of respective townships, in townships where swift foxes were trapped during the 2005/2006 live trapping survey. Each township will be surveyed with six traps for three nights, for a total of 18 trap nights per township. Catch-and-release trapping will be conducted on consecutive nights when possible, but this will be dependent on weather conditions. Traps will generally be set between 1800 and 2000, checked between 2400 and 0200, and closed following a second check between 0600 and 0800. Trapping will not be conducted at temperatures colder than -20 C or when snow, rain, and wind conditions are potentially hazardous to captured foxes. Foxes will be removed from the traps by placing a denim handling bag over the end of the trap. Generally, foxes walk or bolt into the handling bag. This method has been successfully employed in Canada over the last 20 years, without any injuries or mortalities to over 350 foxes during handling (Moehrenschlager and Moehrenschlager 1999, Moehrenschlager and Moehrenschlager 2001, Moehrenschlager et al. 2003; Moehrenschlager and Moehrenschlager 2006). Foxes will be weighed in the handling bags using a Pesola spring scale. One team member will then position the animal on his/her lap to shelter it from the wind, one hand will restrain the head and cover the eyes, and the second hand will restrain the body. The second field worker will count parasites over a span of 15 seconds, assess body condition, sex the fox, tattoo one ear using a tattoo clamp, and individually mark foxes with tattoo dye on a second part of the body to identify recaptured animals. Five to ten hairs will be pulled from the torso of foxes to yield hair follicles for genetic analyses. Recaptured foxes will be released without handling once tattoo dye marks are identified.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-PNR-2007-0069), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2007-10-01)

    This is a pilot study to assess the efficacy of a satellite (GPS) neck collar on Swift Fox, as part of a larger study to assess the impacts of oil and gas development on Swift Fox. Up to 30 swift fox will be captured for the purposes of finding 5 female adult Swift Fox to place collars upon. Foxes will be trapped in the fall of 2007 and re-trapped in early spring of 2008. Live traps will be placed at one kilometer intervals. Traps will be set in the evening and checked twice before morning. Foxes will be measured, weighed and marked. Foxes will be marked with ear tattoo clamps and with a dye elsewhere on the body. A hair sample will be collected for genetic analysis.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SSFU-2005-035/GNP), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2005-10-13)

    International Swift Fox Population Census: Swift fox catch-and-release trapping will be conducted in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Montana. This permit concerns the portion of the research that will take place in Grasslands National Park of Canada. It is not known how many foxes will be trapped but it could be more than 200 for the whole region. The foxes will be assessed for body condition and health, blood and hair will be sampled for genetic testing, and an ear will be tattooed for identification. Research will be conducted to develop and standardize faecal genetic censusing techniques consecutively with the live-trapping procedures in hopes of developing a less invasive censusing technique.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species – November 2010 (2010-12-02)

    As part of its strategy for protecting wildlife species at risk, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA) on June 5, 2003. Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species that receive protection under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Please submit your comments by February 4, 2011 for species undergoing normal consultations and by February 4, 2012 for species undergoing extended consultations.
  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species January 2022 (2022-01-10)

    The Government of Canada is committed to preventing the disappearance of wildlife species at risk from our lands. As part of its strategy for realizing that commitment, on June 5, 2003, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA). Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species provided for under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Extirpated, Endangered and Threatened species on Schedule 1 benefit from the protection afforded by the prohibitions and from recovery planning requirements under SARA. Special Concern species benefit from its management planning requirements. Schedule 1 has grown from the original 233 to 640 wildlife species at risk. Please submit your comments by May 10, 2022, for terrestrial species undergoing normal consultations and by October 10, 2022, for terrestrial species undergoing extended consultations. For a description of the consultation paths these species will undergo, please visit the Species at Risk (SAR) Public Registry website at: The Minister of the Environment's Response to Species at Risk Assessments.

Residence Description

  • Description of residence for Swift Fox (Vulpes velox) in Canada (2010-10-18)

    Section 33 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) prohibits damaging or destroying the residence of a listed threatened, endangered, or extirpated species. SARA defines residence as: "a dwelling-place, such as a den, nest or other similar area or place, that is occupied or habitually occupied by one or more individuals during all or part of their life cycles, including breeding, rearing, staging, wintering, feeding or hibernating" [s.2(1)].

Critical Habitat Descriptions in the Canada Gazette

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