Saturday, August 4, 2012

Swift Foxes: On the comeback trail (Calgary Herald)

Photo Credit Peter Jalkoty

Once nearly extinct, the swift fox is making a comeback

Species upgraded to 'threatened'

After three decades of difficult work by Canadian scientists - including hundreds of cold winter nights spent capturing swift foxes in live traps baited with butcher scraps and bacon - the small, speedy bushytailed animals are no longer an endangered species.
While the swift fox was all but extinct in Canada in 1978, recent live-trapping population surveys show that reintroduction efforts have successfully re-established swift fox populations in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
As a result, the federal government downlisted the status of the species to threatened from endangered.
"In most situations because of greater and greater impacts on the world around us, the status of many species is getting worse," said Axel Moehrenschlager, head of the Centre for Conservation Research at the Calgary Zoo and co-chair the Canadian Swift Fox Recovery Team. "When we are successful in making the status of the species better, that's both unusual, actually, and something that really needs to be celebrated."


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