SPECIES REPORT Sierra Nevada Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes necator · PDF file 8/14/2015...

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Transcript of SPECIES REPORT Sierra Nevada Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes necator · PDF file 8/14/2015...

  • SPECIES REPORT Sierra Nevada Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes necator)

    U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

    August 14, 2015

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    Table of Contents INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................................... 4  ACRONYMS AND SUBSTITUTIONS USED ............................................................................. 4  SPECIES AND SUBSPECIES DESCRIPTION ............................................................................ 5  TAXONOMY AND GENETICS ................................................................................................... 6 

    Taxonomic History and Relationship to Other Fox Subspecies ........................................... 6  Genetics ...................................................................................................................................... 7 

    RANGE AND DISTRIBUTION .................................................................................................... 8  Historical Range ........................................................................................................................ 8 

    Map 1: SNRF Historical Range in California .................................................................... 9  Current Distribution ............................................................................................................... 10 

    Map 2: SNRF Sighting Areas............................................................................................. 12  Table 1: SNRF Sighting Areas ........................................................................................... 13 

    ECOLOGY ................................................................................................................................... 14  Habitat ..................................................................................................................................... 14  Feeding ..................................................................................................................................... 16  Reproduction ........................................................................................................................... 16  Demographic Information...................................................................................................... 17 

    SIGHTING AREA STATUS AND TRENDS ............................................................................. 17  General ..................................................................................................................................... 17  Lassen Sighting Area .............................................................................................................. 18  Sonora Pass Sighting Area ..................................................................................................... 19  Oregon Sighting Areas ........................................................................................................... 21 

    POTENTIAL STRESSORS ON THE SUBSPECIES .................................................................. 21  Logging and Vegetation Management ...................................................................................... 23  Wildfire and Fire Suppression .................................................................................................. 27  Grazing ...................................................................................................................................... 30  Hunting and Trapping ............................................................................................................... 32  Salmon Poisoning Disease and Elokomin Fluke Fever ............................................................ 34  Other Diseases .......................................................................................................................... 37  Small Population Size and Isolation ......................................................................................... 38  Hybridization With Other Subspecies ...................................................................................... 42  Climate Change ......................................................................................................................... 43 

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    Competition and Predation From Coyotes ................................................................................ 48  Predation by Domestic Dogs .................................................................................................... 51  Vehicles..................................................................................................................................... 52  Cumulative and Synergistic Impacts of Potential Stressors ..................................................... 55 

    Table 2: Summary of Potential Stressors to the Subspecies ................................................. 57  EXISTING REGULATORY MECHANISMS ............................................................................ 58 

    Federal Regulations .................................................................................................................. 58  State Regulations ...................................................................................................................... 62 

    CURRENT MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION ............................................................ 63  CHANGES SINCE 90-DAY FINDING ....................................................................................... 63  OVERALL SUMMARY .............................................................................................................. 64  REFERENECS CITED ................................................................................................................. 65 

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    INTRODUCTION We, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, intend this report to summarize the best available scientific and commercial information available on the Sierra Nevada red fox (SNRF, Vulpes vulpes necator). We will use this information as a basis for actions relevant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (“Act”, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Prior to each such action, we will revise the report as necessary to reflect new information that may have become available. Citations in this report incorporate use of the term “Id.”, which is short for “Idem,” (meaning “the same”) and indicates that the information provided is supported by the same material as in the previous citation. If the information source is the same, but the page number is different, then the “Id.” citation may indicate the new page. For instance: “Id. at 540.” On April 27, 2011, we received a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) to list the SNRF as an endangered or threatened species under the Act. We published a 90-day finding in the Federal Register (FR) on January 3, 2012 (77 FR 45), in which we determined that the petition had presented substantial information to indicate that listing may be warranted. As required by the Act, we then undertook a status review of the SNRF, and have incorporated our findings into this report. ACRONYMS AND SUBSTITUTIONS USED

    ºC degrees Celsius ºF degrees Fahrenheit ac acres Act The Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et

    seq.) CBD Center for Biological Diversity CCR California Code of Regulations CDFG California Department of Fish and Game (now CDFW) CDFW California Department of Fish and Wildlife (formerly CDFG) CESA California Endangered Species Act EFF Elokomin fluke fever et al. “and others” ft feet FR Federal Register GHG greenhouse gas ha hectares kg kilograms km kilometers km2 square kilometers lb pounds m meters mi miles mi2 square miles mm millimeters

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    montane fox any of three mountain dwelling subspecies of red fox: the SNRF, the Cascade red fox (V. v. cascadensis), or the Rocky Mountain red fox (V. v. macroura)

    OAR Oregon Administrative Rules ODFW Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife ORV Off road vehicle OSV Over-snow vehicle (snow machine) p. page pp. pages SNFPA Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment SNRF Sierra Nevada red fox (Vulpes vulpes necator) SPD Salmon poisoning disease U.S. United States U.S.C. United States Code (Codebook of Federal laws) we The United States Fish and Wildlife Service

    SPECIES AND SUBSPECIES DESCRIPTION Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are small, slender, doglike carnivores (3.5 to 7 kilograms (kg), 8 to 15 pounds (lb)), with elongated snouts, pointed ears, and large bushy tails (Aubry 1997, p. 55; Perrine 2005, p. 1; Perrine et al. 2010, p. 5). Diagnostic features, by which red foxes can be distinguished from other small canines, include black markings on the backs of their ears, black shins, and white tips on their tails (Statham et al. 2012, p. 123). The fur of most red foxes is primarily yellowish to reddish brown (Perrine et al. 2010, p. 5). This is the “red” color phase. At least two additional color phases exist: the “cross” phase and the “black” phase (Aubry 1997, p. 55; Perrine et al. 2010, p. 5). The cross phase is primarily grayish-brown, with darker lines along the back and shoulders, crossing behind the neck. The black phase (also called the silver phase) is primarily black, with occasional silver guard hairs. Coat color is genetically determined, but all three color phases may occur in the same litter (Aubry 1983, p. 107; Perrine et al. 2010, p. 5). Cross and black phases are generally rare, but tend to be more