The Northern Swift Fox
By: Whitney A. Snead
Although the Northern Swift Fox is a beautiful animal, it is becoming
endangered due to loss of habitat, poisoning, and other human activity.
The Swift Fox can live as long as 12 years. In one litter they can have up to
6 pups. They got their name “Swift” because they can sprint and overtake
a jackrabbit on a dead run. These foxes are the smallest of all North
The Northern Swift Fox can weigh 4-6 pounds, and be as long as 23
inches. These tiny animals have a pale, buff, black and white underside
with large triangular ears. They have a spotted muzzle and black tipped
This fox is nocturnal, meaning they sleep during the day, and do
what they need to do, like hunt, at night. They are also very vocal. These
quick animals can howl so loud, you can hear them from about a mile
Swift foxes live in many different habitats in a large range. They can
live in large, wide, open prairies such as in Wyoming. They can also live in
plains, shrubbery desert areas and in the gently rolling hills.
Foxes are usually omnivores. This means that they can eat both
meat and plant matter. These little animals usually eat small mammals
such as mice, rabbits, etc. They use those as their primary food. For their
secondary food, they eat insects and plant matter.
Many controversies are causing the endangered status of these
animals. Some threats are increasing settlement, meaning people keep
moving in on their habitat. Also, poisoning, meaning that humans are
putting things such as cigarettes, newspapers, pesticides, etc. on their
habitat. These are bad for the foxes because they try to eat these things
and they make them badly ill and eventually kill them.
The breeding season is from December to February. Maturity begins
around 10 months of age. As stated before, a litter can be up to as many as
We can help these animals by not littering, cleaning up the
environment and just all around taking care of our world and the home of
The Northern Swift fox is an endangered animal that can be saved
from extinction if we start making sure we clean up after ourselves and
others. Whitney Snead
“Swift Fox.” Endangered Wildlife of the World. 1993 ed.
Publishing Inc. 1990 ed.