Vulpes velox

Swift Fox

As speedy, elusive, and nocturnal meso-carnivores, swift foxes are important to the biodiversity and health of the grassland ecosystem. Once completely wiped out in Canada, reintroductions allowed them to make a remarkable comeback, though the swift fox is still listed as Threatened.

The situation

A success story…

The swift fox was once abundant across the southern Canadian prairie, but intense habitat loss and persecution in the early 1900s led to the extirpation of the swift fox in 1938. Consequently, Montana’s northern population suffered a similar fate. As an effort to bring back the swift fox, a reintroduction program involving captive breeding and wild to wild translocations commenced in 1983. By 1997, over 900 individuals had been released in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

… With a ways to go

Since then, the population has grown in size and spread. Although popularly known as one of the most successful reintroductions, the work is not over, as the swift fox is still threatened due to continued habitat loss and fragmentation.

Our work

Wilder Institute staff were been involved in the return of the swift fox for over 30 years, undertaking releases, long-term monitoring, and the protection of populations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Montana. We worked with partners on genetics, remote camera surveys, and new reintroductions in Montana to help grow the swift fox range even further.

Our conservation impact

The information gained from our population surveys allowed the government and other authorities to make important decisions to protect threatened swift foxes and their habitats in Canada and Montana.

Did you know?

Swift foxes got their name for being so speedy. They can run faster than 60km/hr!

Join the movement

Incredible successes can be achieved when we work together.

With your support, we can help create a wilder world for the swift fox. Join our donor community and take action for wildlife today!