Swift fox (Vulpes velox) is a small light gray to tan canid (animals in the dog family) found in the shortgrass prairies of western Nebraska. Although they once occupied two-thirds of Nebraska, they now may occupy as little as 20% of their historic range.
Swift fox are listed as endangered under the Nebraska Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act.
Developing gas, oil, and wind energy resources in shortgrass prairies can change the landscape and may affect swift fox. Loss of shortgrass prairie is a serious threat to swift fox populations.
The Nebraska Canid Project
The Nebraska Canid Project began a five-year project to study swift foxes and other canids in western Nebraska with the hope of better understanding what limits swift fox distribution in the state.
The Nebraska Canid Project is a collaboration of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, the Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln,Chadron State College, the U.S. Forest Service, the Nebraska Department of Roads, and Nebraska landowners.
Citizen Scientists are assisting with the research by deploying and maintaining trail cameras throughout western Nebraska.
The results of this project will help managers understand how changes to Nebraska's shortgrass prairie will affect the canid community and how best to manage swift fox populations into the future.
For more information, visit the Nebraska Canid Project website: http://snr.unl.edu/nebraskacanidproject/index.asp