Swift foxes, who can be smaller than a housecat, were once abundant across the Great Plains, but they nearly disappeared in the 1900s due to poisoning, trapping and habitat destruction. But today, swift fox numbers are improving thanks to reintroduction efforts in the United States and Canada.
In fact, earlier this year Defenders of Wildlife has partnered with the Assiniboine and Gros Ventre tribes of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, Smithsonian and Little Dog Wildlife to relocate swift foxes from Wyoming to the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in north-central Montana to start a new population. Like many grassland species, swift foxes were eradicated from Montana by the mid-1950s.
This reintroduction effort means swift foxes will once again inhabit this part of Montana! Prior to releasing these foxes at Fort Belknap, we will affix GPS radio collars to them so the tribes can monitor their interactions with the other released foxes--assessing the progress toward a sustainable population--and also track their denning locations and kits born in the Wild.
I hope you’ll join us in celebrating this incredible milestone. The return of swift foxes to the tribal lands of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, a significant achievement in the recovery of this species and the overall conservation of America’s diverse wildlife species.