An observational natal den study of wild swift fox (Vulpes velox) on the Canadian Prairie
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AbstractWild swift fox (Vulpes velox) were observed in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan in May - August, 1991 - 1992. Discriminant function analyses indicated that occupied sites were located on hill tops, close to roads, and with taller grass than unoccupied sites. Female parents and kits exhibited a modified diel activity pattern during the whelping period. Percent of each hour spent above ground at the den by kits was typically related to that spent above ground by adult females. Reduced use of areas outside dens coincided with high external temperatures. Swift fox use multiple dens during the whelping season and ground squirrels, prairie hares, and voles were important prey items. Foxes also display elaborate behaviours associated with play and caching prey items. These results are used to evaluate captive-rearing, pre-release training, field program schedules, and selection of release sites.
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