Swift fox (Photo by Karol Dabbs) Travelling through the prairies at up to 60 kilometres an hour, the swift fox is aptly named. A swift recovery The return of swift foxes is one of the most successful species reintroduction stories in Canada. Once abundant in the short- and mixed-grass prairies of Alberta, Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba, they were no longer found in Canada in the 1930s. Their decline was primarily the result of habitat loss. In 1973, a privately run program began breeding swift foxes in captivity in the United States, so that they could eventually be reintroduced back into the wild in Canada. With the help of federal agencies, non-governmental organizations and academia, including the Cochrane Ecological Institute and the Calgary Zoo’s Centre for Conservation Research , the program has been one of Canada’s most successful species reintroductions. The first captive-raised swift foxes were reintroduced along the Alberta–Saskatchewan border and the Milk River Ridge areas in 1983. These foxes survived, and over the years more captive-bred animals were reintroduced into the wild. Between 1983 and 1997, more than 900 animals were released in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Today there are approximately 650 swift foxes living in Canada. This population […]

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