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Swift Fox

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Genus species Vulpes velox
Description Smallest member of the canine family. 2 1/2 feet from snout to tip of tail. Yellowish tan coat with some gray along the back. Belly, throat, and chest are buff to white. Distinctly large ears for body size. Long bushy tail with a black tip.
Body length 31 inches
Weight 5 pounds
Habitat Large tracts of short and mixed-grass prairie.
Breeding Season Late December to March
Gestation Period 51
Litter size 2-6
Status in North Dakota Believed extirpated
Food habits Opportunistic foragers - mammals, birds, plants, etc.

Conservation Issues

Habitat Swift fox were extirpated from much of their historic range due to indiscriminant poisoning in the early 1900s. Recently, loss of suitable native short and mixed-grass prairie due to conversion to agricultural and development threaten populations.
Other Natural or Manmade Factors This species is vulnerable to over-trapping and poisoning. High red fox and coyote populations threaten swift fox populations due to predation. Distance to breeding populations in South Dakota and Montana is a threat to natural repopulation of suitable habitat in North Dakota.