Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
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.