Friday, September 06, 2002
The Swift Fox Conservation Team's annual meeting is set for Sept. 23-24, at the Bismarck Radisson Hotel, 800 South 3rd Street, in Bismarck, North Dakota. The team will discuss a project to determine swift fox habitat preferences and to identify new areas for expanding the animal's range. The public may attend the meeting.
"Work by the conservation team to investigate the status of the species was rewarded in 2001 when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed the swift fox from its endangered species 'candidate' species' list," said Brian Giddings, FWP furbearer coordinator and member of the SFCT.
The work continues with state and federal agencies, private organizations, and tribes involved in population monitoring, reintroductions, and other projects aimed at ensuring the swift fox's survival, Giddings said.
The conservation team was formed in 1994 by 10 state wildlife agencies in response to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's finding that the swift fox was warranted for federal listing under the Endangered Species Act. Montana is a charter member of the Swift Fox Conservation Team.
Swift fox are about the size of a house-cat, tawny in color with a black-tipped tail, and are native only to the short-grass prairies of the Great Plains. Swift fox were thought to be extinct in Montana by 1918, but have been recolonizing portions of the state since 1978. A healthy population now occupies north-central Montana between Havre and Glasgow and swift fox are being established on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation near Browning.
Information on the swift fox can be found at