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Swift Fox Symposium

A Den-centered Analysis of Swift Fox (Vulpes velox) Habitat Characteristics on the Kiowa National Grasslands, New Mexico.

Keith M. Kintigh and Mark C. Andersen. Department of Fishery and Wildlife Sciences, New Mexico State University, P.O. Box 30003 Dept. 4901, Las Cruces, NM 88003.

In 1997, we began a study to identify swift fox (Vulpes velox) den site characteristics related to vegetational structure, soil, and landscape features and patterns on the Kiowa National Grasslands in north-east New Mexico. Active and abandoned dens are being located by systematic field surveys and radio-location of collared foxes. Digitized landcover maps and digital elevation maps (DEM) are being used to calculate several landscape-level habitat attributes, distance measures, and spatial indices within 1.5 km of each denning complex. Digitized soil maps are being used to identify soil characteristics within 50 m of each denning complex. During spring 1998, in-field measurements will be collected on habitat attributes related to visual obscurity of adjacent vegetation within 50 m of each denning complex. In total, 23 variables are being measured and will be compared to 3 random sites per den complex using discriminant function analysis.

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