First Red Fox Spotted in 100 years!

Yosemite National Park biologists confirmed the first sighting of a rare Sierra Nevada red fox in nearly a century.

As was reported by the National Parks Service, biologists captured rare footage of a red fox within Yosemite boundaries on December 13, 2014 and January 4, 2015 on motion-sensitive cameras. The Sierra Nevada red fox of California is one of the rarest mammals in North America, likely consisting of fewer than 50 individuals, according to the NPS.

“We are thrilled to hear about the sighting of the Sierra Nevada red fox, one of the most rare and elusive animals in the Sierra Nevada,” said Don Neubacher, Yosemite National Park Superintendent, in a post on NPS. “National parks like Yosemite provide habitat for all wildlife and it is encouraging to see that the red fox was sighted in the park.”

source: NPS Photo

Sarah Stock, Wildlife Biologist in Yosemite National Park, added, “Confirmation of the Sierra Nevada red fox in Yosemite National Park’s vast alpine wilderness provides an opportunity to join research partners in helping to protect this imperiled animal."

The Yosemite biologists will continue to survey for Sierra Nevada red fox using remote cameras. At each camera station, the carnivore crew will also set up hair snare stations to gather hair samples for genetic analysis. The goal of the analysis is to learn more about the diversity within the population and to confirm whether the fox(es) detected in Yosemite is genetically related to individuals from the Sonora Pass area, where a red fox was spotted in 2010.

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