Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the status of the swift fox (Vulpes velox) in zoological institutions, explain how zoos can contribute to the in situ conservation of this species, and discuss the benefits of including swift fox in an institution's collection plans.
By adding the swift fox to collection plans, zoos can preserve the species' genetic identity, educate the public about this little-known species and its role in the prairie ecosystem, and can contribute to its conservation and propagation. In return, zoos gain an animal that is hardy, easily cared for, and easily exhibited. It also provides zoos with an opportunity to promote their role of conservation and relay that message to the public. Furthermore, exhibiting the swift fox allows the zoo community to join forces with wildlife agencies to become "net producers" of wildlife rather than "net consumers"' as often perceived by the public. In conclusion, three major points to be covered include:
1) The status of swift fox in captivity,
2) Zoos can play a key role in the conservation of the swift fox by including them in their collection plans,
3) Zoos can benefit from the inclusion of the swift fox in their collection plans in the areas of conservation, science, education, and recreation.