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Swift Fox Symposium

Swift Fox Habitat Protection Guidelines: Do We Have Enough Knowledge?

Wayne C. Harris1 and John R. Taggert2. 1Saskatchewan Environment and Resource Management, 350 Cheadle St. W., Swift Current, SK S9H 4G3. 2Alberta Fish and Wildlife Services, Room 4, Provincial Building, 346-3rd SE, Medicine Hat, AB T1A 0G7.

The Swift Fox (Vulpes velox) National Recovery Plan identifies habitat protection as a critical component to achieving a viable, self-sustaining population of swift foxes in Canada. Habitat protection guidelines have been developed and utilized when responding to various industrial applications occurring in swift fox habitat on public land. Currently these guidelines restrict activities within a certain distance of an active natal den during critical periods. This approach only addresses a small fraction of what may be required to protect swift fox habitat and has yet to be tested for its effectiveness. There is a need to develop a comprehensive habitat protection strategy that includes biologically sound site-specific as well as ecosystem mitigation techniques to help ensure swift fox survival.

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