Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
The magnitude and cause of mortality of wild carnivores such as the swift fox is difficult to assess because they are secretive and dead animals are seldom found, yet better understanding of mortality factors is needed for management agencies to develop conservation plans for this species. Available information identifies coyotes as the principal predator of swift foxes (Laurion 1988, Covell 1992, Carbyn et al. 1994). Other predators that have been identified are golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) and American badgers (Taxidea taxus; Rongstad et al. 1989. Ecology of swift fox on the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site, Colorado. Unpublished final report to the U.S. Army, Fort Carson, Colorado; Carbyn et al. 1994). In this study, we determined rates and causes of mortality for radiocollared adult and juvenile swift foxes in 2 study areas of differing landscape characteristics in western Kansas from March 1996 through January 1997.