Swift Foxes

Swif Fox Pack

The swift fox is the smallest of all North American wild canid species. And oh do they get the oohs and ahhs on tours.

If you catch them napping, the night’s hunt must have been a good one. Especially in the wild, the swift fox is more of a night owl, hunting their prey from dusk to dawn.

The swift fox gets its name from early American settlers who were taken by its speed. The species once had an enormous range, stretching from central Alberta, Canada, south through the Plains states all the way to west-central Texas. As the country was settled, their population began a serious decline. By 1978, the species was completely gone in Canada, and just over a decade later, it survived in only about 10 percent of its former range in the United States. The swift fox’s future was in a tailspin.

The process to declare the swift fox endangered took root in 1995, but due to backlog at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Swift Fox Conservation Team was formed to help save this quickly disappearing predator.

It worked. Thanks to the Swift Fox Conservation Team’s efforts in combination with breeding recovery successes from the Endangered Wolf Center and other facilities, the little foxes began making a comeback. Today, the Endangered Wolf Center continues to play an important role in the recovery of this species. In fact, swift fox kits have been born in the spring of 2012 and 2013. Springtime always brings new hope for more kits to be born, so be sure to check in during puppy and kit season. One of the female kits, Kimi, born in 2012, traveled from the Center in January 2013 to Canada (where the swift fox is still considered endangered) to help with that country’s recovery efforts.

Ernie and Peggy are the parents of our swift fox litter that was born here at the Center. Ernie, Peggy, and their kits (Molly, Havoc, Cosmo, and Sly) can be seen on many of our PredaTours and are always a popular stop with their playfulness.

Find more information and facts about swift foxes in our Educational Resources.

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