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Canada's Species   Mammals

Swift Fox

Vulpes velox

The swift fox is a small and slender fox, about the size of a large house cat. It is solitary except for the mating season, and is primarily nocturnal. While it appears to be a timid creature, it isn't very wary of humans, which is an issue for its survival. Its food consists of mammals such as jack rabbits and mice, as well as birds, insects, and grasses. The swift fox's predators include coyotes and golden eagles. Until as little as two decades ago, the swift fox was completely extirpated in Canada, having been forced out of the prairie provinces as the land there came under cultivation. Some were accidentally killed in attempts to exterminate predators and "pests" such as wolves, coyotes and ground squirrels, while far more were driven out when their dens were ploughed over and cereal crops were planted, eliminating their habitat and prey. Swift foxes have been reintroduced into southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, and the majority of foxes on the Canadian prairies today where born there, which suggests that these foxes are well on their way to re-establishing a self-sustaining population.

Map of Swift Fox in Canada
Distribution of Swift Fox in Canada

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