SPECIES ASSESSMENT FOR SWIFT FOX VULPES VELOX IN The diploid number of swift fox is 50, which...

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  • SPECIES ASSESSMENT FOR

    SWIFT FOX (VULPES VELOX) IN WYOMING

    prepared by

    DARBY N. DARK-SMILEY 1 AND DOUGLAS A. KEINATH

    2

    1

    Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, University of Wyoming, 1000 E. University Ave, Dept. 3381, Laramie,

    Wyoming 82071; 307-766-3023 2 Zoology Program Manager, Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, University of Wyoming, 1000 E. University

    Ave, Dept. 3381, Laramie, Wyoming 82071; 307-766-3013; dkeinath@uwyo.edu

    prepared for

    United States Department of the Interior

    Bureau of Land Management

    Wyoming State Office

    Cheyenne, Wyoming

    December 2003

  • Dark-Smiley and Keinath – Vupes velox December 2003

    Page 1 of 51

    Table of Contents

    INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................................................................3

    NATURAL HISTORY ...........................................................................................................................4 Morphological Description .......................................................................................................4 Taxonomy and Distribution......................................................................................................5

    Taxonomy........................................................................................................................................5 North American Distribution...........................................................................................................7 Wyoming Distribution.....................................................................................................................8

    Habitat Requirements..............................................................................................................8 Year-round Habitat ..........................................................................................................................8 Territoriality and Area Requirements............................................................................................11 Landscape Pattern..........................................................................................................................12

    Movement and Activity Patterns ............................................................................................13 Migration, Dispersal, and Home Range ........................................................................................13 Phenology ......................................................................................................................................13

    Reproduction and Survivorship .............................................................................................14 Breeding Behavior.........................................................................................................................14 Breeding Phenology ......................................................................................................................14 Fecundity and Survivorship...........................................................................................................15

    Population Demographics .....................................................................................................17 Limiting Factors ............................................................................................................................17

    Metapopulation Dynamics ......................................................................................................17 Genetic Concerns ....................................................................................................................17

    Food Habits...........................................................................................................................18 Food items .....................................................................................................................................18 Foraging Strategy ..........................................................................................................................19 Foraging Variation.........................................................................................................................20

    Community Ecology ..............................................................................................................20 Predation........................................................................................................................................20 Interspecific interactions................................................................................................................21 Parasites and Disease.....................................................................................................................22 Symbiotic and Mutualistic Interactions .........................................................................................22

    CONSERVATION ...............................................................................................................................23 Conservation Status..............................................................................................................23

    Federal Endangered Species Act ...................................................................................................23 Bureau of Land Management ........................................................................................................23 Forest Service ................................................................................................................................24 State Wildlife Agencies .................................................................................................................24 Heritage Ranks and WYNDD’s Wyoming Contribution Rank.....................................................24

    Biological Conservation Issues..............................................................................................25 Abundance .....................................................................................................................................25 Trends ............................................................................................................................................27

    Abundance Trends ..................................................................................................................27 Population Extent and Connectivity Trends............................................................................28 Trends in Available Habitat ....................................................................................................29

    Range Context ...............................................................................................................................30 Extrinsic Threats and Reasons for Decline....................................................................................30

  • Dark-Smiley and Keinath – Vupes velox December 2003

    Page 2 of 51

    Anthropogenic Impacts ...........................................................................................................30 Invasive Species......................................................................................................................31 Genetic Factors .......................................................................................................................31 Stochastic Factors (e.g., weather events) ................................................................................31 Natural Predation ....................................................................................................................32 WYNDD Extrinsic Threat Rank .............................................................................................32

    Intrinsic Vulnerability....................................................................................................................32 Habitat Specificity...................................................................................................................32 Territoriality and Area Requirements .....................................................................................32 Susceptibility to Disease .........................................................................................................33 Dispersal Capability and Site Fidelity.....................................................................................33 Reproductive Capacity............................................................................................................33 Sensitivity to Disturbance .......................................................................................................34 WYNDD Intrinsic Threat Rank ..............................................................................................34

    Protected Areas..............................................................................................................................34 WYNDD Protected Areas Rank..............................................................................................35

    Population Viability Analyses (PVAs)..........................................................................................35

    CONSERVATION ACTION .................................................................................................................35 Existing or Future Conservation Plans ..................................................................................35