Endangered: Swift Fox of Alberta

By: Anika Plitt


Not many people know how serious the threat of extinction is for the swift fox. In the 1930's this fox almost dissapeared completely. They were reintroduced to Alberta, and their population is now estimated to be at around 300.


Swift foxes began to decline as the agriculture and ranching buisnesses became more popular. The habitats were destroyed. Also, they war trapped and poisoned accidentally when campaigns tried to kill prairie dogs, ground squirrels, wolves, and coyotes. More current threats still include habitat loss, and hunting and poisoning, as well as lack of food because of the decreaseing number of prairie dogs and ground squirrels, a big source of prey. They are also naturally preyed upon by coyotes, badgers and eagles.


  1. The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society encouraged people to write to the Minister of Environment and ask him to bring a Species at Risk Act to the attention of the Federal Government. The 2012 Federal Budget Implementation Bill (Bill C-38) added changes to the Species at Risk Act (SARA) including allowing issuance of long-term permits for potentially harmful activities, and taking away the requirement of renewal for these permits. The Minister of Environment said that these changes could be made soon.

Left- Logo of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society

  1. The Calgary Zoo is conducting important health, genetic and habitat research and the Centre for Conservation Research has been conducting a population census every five years to keep track of the progress. They have shown an extraordinary amount of success in the reintroduction of theses creatures.

Right- young swift fox from Calgary Zoo

  1. The Cochrane Ecological Institute began the reintroduction process in 1972. Since then over 800 swift foxes have been released into the wild. This has down listed the swift fox from extirpated to endangered.

Left- Cochrane Ecological Institute Logo

How Can You Help?

  1. You can make a donation to WILDLIFE PRESERVATION CANADA
  2. Encourage people not to use pesticides, or at least use less of these chemicals
  3. Send a letter or e-mail to the government saying how much you care, and why you want to help.
  4. Support conservation groups
  5. Sign up at the Canadian Wilderness Charter to help others learn about the Swift fox