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Swift Fox
Vulpes velox

This little fox is built for speed. About the size of a house cat, it is light in weight and has long legs for running. It can run at speeds of 50 to 60 km/hr! It is a greyish tan color across the back and a yellowish tan color across the sides and legs. It has a black tipped tail and black patches on the muzzle, and very large ears.

Swift fox prefer to make their home on flat shortgrass prairie with lots of potential burrows and very few roads. Ideally habitat includes grass height between 9 and 12 cm tall, which allows the fox to easily view the surrounding area. While they are able to dig their own burrows, swift fox generally make use of abandoned badger burrows for their den. They use their dens throughout the year, and may move their “home base” more than a dozen times within a year!

Swift fox are omnivores: they eat grass and fruit as well as meat. Their diet largely consists of insects, rabbits, Richardson’s ground squirrels (gophers), lizards, birds and eggs. They are nocturnal and mostly hunt during the hours of dusk and dawn.

This speedy fox was once extirpated from Canada, but thanks to a successful reintroduction program, they are currently listed as “threaten” under the Species at Risk Act.