Status: Least Concern
Range & Habitat
Swift foxes are primarily found in the Southwest United States and Western Canada. They live primarily in short grass prairies and deserts. They often form dens in sandy soils on open prairies, along fences or in plowed fields.
The Swift fox is one of the smallest foxes in the world and is the smallest of the North American wild dogs. They can reach speeds of over 50 km/h. In the wild, Swift foxes usually live between 3 and 6 years, but may live up to 14 years in captivity. Unlike many other types of foxes, Swift foxes use dens year round, not just while rearing their young. They are considered endangered in the Unites States presently, mainly due to habitat loss.
Reproduction & Growth
Swift foxes sometimes pair for life, but may not mate with the same partner each year. Male swift foxes mature and mate at one year, while females may wait until their second year before breeding. The breeding season varies depending on location, but is typically late spring/early summer. The gestation period is 50-60 days and pups are born in mid-May. For individuals farther south in the United States, the breeding season begins in late December, early January, with pups born in March and early April. Swift foxes have only one litter annually, with a litter size ranging anywhere from 2 to 6 and are usually born in underground dens.
In the Wild: Their diet varies seasonally and they typically eat whatever live prey they can catch. Their diet includes small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, but also includes berries and grasses. In the Zoo: Their diet consists of dry dog food, chunk meat and a special mixture of meat called feline diet. They receive this special diet twice daily.