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Swift fox conservation
Image courtesy Endangered Wolf Center


The Swift fox is smaller than an average house cat!


As their name suggests, this fox is known for its agility and speed and can run up to three times faster than a human (as fast as 40 mph). Their capacity for speed and agility gives them the advantage of being able to evade their predators, such as coyotes and eagles, but not always.

For them, raising a young one is a combined effort. Both the mother and father take care of their kits and help raise them till they are ready to go out on their own. The swift fox chooses to stay in their dens or bask in the sun nearby all day to avoid its predators, only going out at night. These animals once had a large range- from the prairies in southern Canada all the way down to Texas, but today Swift foxes are forced to live in a fraction of that land.


















The species is currently listed as endangered in Canada, protected under the Species at Risk Act and stable in the USA. 


Habitat loss remains to be the greatest threat to the swift fox with their habitats being converted into ranches and agricultural lands for crops and urban development. In the early 1900s, this loss almost exterminated their population in Canada. However, the threat from habitat loss is not as great as it once was. There are several other threats to the fox's ability to thrive, aside from the normal risk of predation, they are exposed to traps and poison meant for other animals. While the Swift fox is an omnivore, shrinking population of ground prey like squirrels, has affected their diet and food source.  


Although successfully reintroduced in the U.S., thanks to efforts by the Swift Fox Conservation Team, in Canada, where they completely disappeared from the wild in the 1930s, the story is a bit different. Extensive captive breeding efforts led to the re-introduction of about 950 individuals in the Canadian wilderness. Sadly most of them perished by the 1990s. Despite initial hiccups, this effort was eventually successful in establishing a smaller Swift fox population in Canada.

Playful, Elusive Foxes Took Years to Capture on Camera, National Geographic


Endangered Wolf Center

The Endangered Wolf Center’s mission is to preserve and protect Mexican wolves, red wolves and other wild canid species with purpose and passion, through carefully managed breeding, reintroduction and inspiring education programs. Since it was founded in 1971, the EWC has joined the Species Survival Plan of not just the Mexican and red wolves, but also the African painted dog, the maned wolf of South America, the fennec fox of the Sahara Desert, and the swift fox. These little foxes have been capturing the hearts of visitors since 1998. The breeding efforts of the Endangered Wolf Center have contributed valuable genetics to the Canadian Swift Fox recovery program.


Our allies at Endangered Wolf Center say that these actions can help out the Swift fox:

  • Adopt a Swift Fox: You can become a member of the Endangered Wolf Center and help support their conservation efforts by symbolically adopting a swift fox or the entire Swift Fox Troop.

  • Support prairie conservation and restoration. See for a list of ways you can help.

  • Plant native species in your home garden and yard. Invasive plant species can damage prairie habitats by taking over an area and driving out native plants. They can increase insect damage on native plants.

  • Counteract climate change by recycling, reducing energy usage, or planting a tree. There are many small things you can do in your own home that are a short internet search away.


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