The ATB Financial Swift Fox Conservation Program
Every five years, Calgary Zoo researchers bundle up and head into the night to count swift foxes. Finding them is a big deal because between 1938 and 1988, they were extinct from Canada. Since 1996, our scientists, in collaboration with other recovery partners, have been keeping track of how reintroduced wild foxes are doing. The news is good. Results from the last two counts show that this is the most successful reintroduction of a nationally extinct carnivore in the world.
Remote camera traps are a bit like Candid Camera for endangered species, offering researchers a peek into the secret lives of animals facing environmental challenges.
Unlike most other species in the dog family, swift foxes use their dens every single day of the year for protection and shelter. They can dig out their own homes or modify the burrows of other animals.
At a Glance
2.4 kg (5.3 lb.)
Length of 79 cm (31 in.)
Short-grass and mixed-grass prairies of the Great Plains ecosystem
Small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, berries and seeds