Wild Tracks

On behalf of the world's wild species

Good News for Prairie Wildlife

Wildlife news on the net seems to be more depressing than usual today. To counteract the negativity, we’re happy give you some good news from the prairies.

Swift Foxes Relocated

Officials in Montana plan to transplant about 30 swift foxes to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in an effort to boost fox numbers by linking populations of the small predator in Canada, South Dakota and Wyoming.

The ultimate goal of the project is to establish a wildlife corridor for the tiny foxes that will run from Canada to Texas. An ambitious goal that would save untold thousands of wildlife species – mammals, birds and plants.

Swift foxes are native to the prairies of North America but were killed off by poison intended for coyotes and wolves. Increased farming eliminated habitat for prairie dogs, ground squirrels and rabbits that the foxes prey on. They are now found in less than 40% of their historic range.

Read more here

Re-fencing for the Pronghorn

Adult male Pronghorn

Adult male Pronghorn

North America’s fastest animal can reach speeds up to 100 km/hr. They evolved on the vast open areas of the Great Plains, where there was ample room to run. But they don’t jump fences.

As the land was increasingly parceled off for settlement, pronghorns faced increased injury and death by colliding with barbed wire fences.Mass deaths at fence lines have also been reported as pronghorn failed to find a way around or underneath the barriers.

Now a group of conservationists, hunters, landowners, government and the military are spending about $300,00 to provide pronghorn-friendly fencing in southern Alberta.

This summer, the bottom line of barbed wire was yanked off fence posts by volunteers, and replaced with a double stranded smooth wire than hangs 46 cm above the ground. More than enough room for the small pronghorn to duck under and continue on their way.

Motion cameras have already captured photos of pronghorn and deer safely ducking under the smooth wire.

This astonishingly simple solution will prevent the death of thousands of prairie animals, yet still fence in the livestock. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved. Hopefully the idea will spread throughout the range of the pronghorn, giving a much-needed helping hand to these iconic symbols of the prairies.

Read more about the project


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