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Status of reintroduced Swift Fox in Southwestern South Dakota


January 2014 - July 2017


Since establishing that restored swift fox (Vulpes velox) populations in western South Dakota were in jeopardy of extinction due to high potential mortality, an additional factor that could further affect population viability of swift foxes has colonized rangeland within the distribution of the species. Plague (Yersinia pestis) is now evident within black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) towns throughout western South Dakota. Since the highly successful reintroduction in this area, there has been an apparent decline in the local swift fox population that seems directly related to plague, recent weather patterns, and possibly increased coyote numbers. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to determine the current status of swift fox as it relates to the Badlands National Park area and the historic population in Fall River County in southwestern South Dakota.

Research Products and Activities


  • Nevison, Sarah Ann, "Swift Foxes in Southwestern South Dakota: Assessing the Current Status of a Reintroduced Population" (2017). Theses and Dissertations. 2152.  | 

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 3

Masters Students: 7

Phd Students: 1

Post Docs: 0

University Staff: 1

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 18

Scientific Publications: 55

Presentations: 119



  • Joshua StaffordCo-Principal Investigator
  • Sarah NevisonStudent
  • Jonathan JenksCo-Principal Investigator

Funding Agencies

  • National Park Service


South Dakota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks
  2. South Dakota State University
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey
  5. Wildlife Management Institute