‘Extinct’ Californian fox rediscovered


This video from the USA is called Fisher Management in Northern Idaho.

From Wildlife Extra:

‘Extinct’ fox rediscovered in California

09/09/2010 11:15:15

Rare Red Fox Sighting Confirmed

The US National Forest Service have announced the recent sighting of a Sierra Nevada red fox (Vulpes vulpes necator), in the area where the Humboldt-Toiyabe and Stanislaus National Forests and Yosemite National Park come together. The Sierra Nevada red fox has never occurred in high numbers, and it is known to have suffered when non native foxes were introduced. The lack of any record of the fox for more than 10 years had led scientists to think that it was probably extinct.

This summer, the Forest Service has been conducting monitoring activities with motion sensitive cameras to detect the presence of the elusive fisher and marten, two forest carnivores known to frequent the High Sierra.

Surprised observers

While checking photographs on August 11, 2010, Forest Service wildlife biologists, Sherri Lisius, from the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, and Adam Rich, from the Stanislaus National Forest, identified a photo believed to be that of a red fox. Surprised by what they saw, the Forest Service biologists consulted with California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG). The only known population of Sierra Nevada red fox since the 1920s occurred in the Lassen Peak region – about 150 miles to the north.

Not seen here since 1920s

Recent survey efforts by CDFG in the Sierra Nevada have failed to detect red foxes south of the Lassen area, making the Forest Service detection significant. “The last known sighting of a Sierra Nevada red fox in the Sonora Pass area was sometime in the 1920s,” said Mike Crawley, Bridgeport District Ranger. “Needless to say, we are quite surprised and excited by this find.”

DNA testing – Distinct population

The Sonora Pass population of the Sierra Nevada red fox carried a genetic signature seen previously only in museum specimens collected before 1926. Analysis of hair found on the tree supporting the motion sensitive camera allowed UC Davis veterinary geneticists to identify it as originating from a Sierra Nevada red fox, distinct from the Lassen Peak population.

Wildlife biologists from the Forest Service, CDFG, and the University of California, Davis, will set-up additional monitoring stations to gather more information on the presence of Sierra Nevada red fox in the area of Sonora Pass.

See also here.

Biologists Confirm 2 Rare Red Foxes Spotted in Sierra Nevada Near Yosemite; Subspecies Was OnceThought Extinct: here. And here.

A survey of the world’s mammals published today reveals that more than a third of species once feared extinct have since been spotted in the wild, in one case 180 years after the last confirmed sighting. Rare mammals that were considered dead but later rediscovered were typically missing for 52 years: here.

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One thought on “‘Extinct’ Californian fox rediscovered

  1. Pingback: Bears, cougars in United States cities? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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