Beautiful picture of one of the rarest animals in North America, the Sierra Nevada red fox. It is hoped that this critically endangered animal is finally making a comeback after a ban on trapping was introduced by the State of California in 1980.
One of the rarest animals in North America, the Sierra Nevada red fox, has been caught on camera in California’s Yosemite National Park for the first time in nearly a century.
Motion-sensitive cameras stationed in the northern part of the park captured two images—possibly of the same animal—one in December and one in January.
The Sierra Nevada red fox (Vulpes vulpes necator) is incredibly rare, with as few as 50 individuals thought to exist in North America. Prized for their vibrant coats, red fox populations were devastated by hunting and trapping during the 19th and 20th centuries.nationalgeographic.com
Sierra Nevada red fox
The Sierra Nevada red fox (Vulpes vulpes necator), also known as the High Sierra fox is a subspecies of red fox and one of the most endangered mammals in North America. Until recently, only a few dozen were known to exist in a remnant population near Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Recent webcam discoveries of two additional surviving remnant populations near Sonora Pass in 2010 and on Mount Hood, Oregon in 2012 raise hopes for the species’ survival. The State of California banned trapping of the Sierra Nevada red fox in 1980, after annual pelt takes had dwindled to 2 per year by the 1970s. It is considered to be critically endangered by the California Department of Fish and Game. On April 26, 2011, the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the federal government to protect the High Sierra fox under the Endangered Species Act.
One serious threat to the Sierra Nevada red fox would be interbreeding with non-native red foxes (which have been introduced into California’s Central Valley, San Francisco Bay Area and southern California) from America’s eastern and midwestern populations. With only about 50 animals remaining, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced on Dec. 30, 2011 that it is beginning a full status review, in response to the petition.
Source: Sierra Nevada red fox (Wikipedia).