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Animal Information

Swift Fox Great Southwest

Swift Fox

Vulpes velox

Biome: Great Southwest

Classification: Mammals

Biography: Speedy yet sly! The swift fox weighs less then 8 pounds, but can run more than 37 miles per hour! While it relies on stealth and surprise to hunt prey, its speed enables it to catch jackrabbits. In addition to rabbits, they will eat anything available, from rodents and insects to berries and grasses. Swift foxes generally live in grasslands or the open desert. Underground dens are very important for them to avoid the sun, for protection and to raise their young. They can develop an old den from a badger or dig one for themselves.

One of the main threats to the swift fox is loss of habitat as a result of conversion of grassland for agriculture. In the past, their numbers were also affected by trapping and incidental poisoning intended for wolves and coyotes. Swift foxes have a curious nature and were readily attracted to various baits used in this predator control program.

Although their numbers are recovering in the U.S., they are still considered endangered in Canada. Continuing efforts to reintroduce and protect these foxes are increasing their population.

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