Trail cameras detect endangered foxes in California mountains
The foxes, which were thought to be extinct before their rediscovery in 2010, have now been spotted 100 miles away near Sierra Nevada National Park, California officials said.
Trail cameras at Tabuz Pass near Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon captured the photos the rare Sierra Nevada red fox in 2022, according to a Jan. 24 news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Foxes haven’t been seen in this part of the Sierra Nevada since the 1930s, officials said.
Foxes were once thought to be extinct in the Sierra Nevada until a small population was discovered in 2010 in the Sonora Pass, west of the city of Bridgeport, the release said.
The latest discovery expands their range 100 miles south to the eastern border of Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon, officials said.
The release said three cameras located on the high ground east of the John Muir Trail captured four photos of reclusive foxes between April and June.
“These new discoveries are very personally satisfying and are a real reward for all the hard work our staff has put in,” said biologist Brian Hatfield. “From a conservation perspective, this suggests that the Sierra Nevada red fox is more widespread than previously thought.”
The Sierra Nevada red fox “historically inhabited the upper elevations of the Sierra Nevada and Cascades in California and Oregon,” officials said.
Collaborators on the alpine carnivore research project include UC Davis Division of Mammal Ecology and Conservation, Inyo and Sierra National Forests, Sequoia and Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Parks, California Department of Water Resources, and Southern California Edison.
Don Sweeney was a newspaper reporter and editor in California for over 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter for The Sacramento Bee since 2016.
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