If you love cute photos of adorable animals, stay tuned for the latest news about a rare fox spotted in the Yosemite National Forest. This little guy is so cute, you will want to hug him forever. Initial reports say that it is a Sierra Nevada red fox spotted in Yosemite National Park on a motion-sensitive camera on December 13, 2014, and again on January 4. The scientific name for the rare fox spotted in Yosemite is Vulpes vulpes necator.
The Weather Channel has video of the rare fox spotted in Yosemite that has been widely distributed. In addition, they show a couple of pictures that are less widely distributed. National Parks Service posted about the rare fox spotted at Yosemite and says, “The Sierra Nevada red fox of California is one of the rarest mammals in North America, likely consisting of fewer than 50 individuals.” They also stated the following.
“The nearest verified occurrences of Sierra Nevada red foxes have been in the Sonora Pass area, north of the park, where biologists from U.C. Davis (UCD), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) have been monitoring a small Sierra Nevada red fox population, first documented by the USFS in 2010. Prior to 2010, the last verified sighting of a Sierra Nevada red fox in the region was two decades ago.”
The Washington Post reports that the National Park Service have crews setting up devices near where the rare fox spotted in the park was seen by cameras. These devices will attempt to collect hair samples from the rare fox spotted that can give scientists a chance to study the genes of that particular part of the fox population.
Interestingly, the rare fox spotted in Yosemite is not the only unique fox around. In 2008, a rare fox spotted in England was captured on film. Unlike the rare fox spotted in Yosemite, this one is entirely black. About the incident, the Telegraph UK states that the rare fox spotted in England was, “so rare that wildlife experts believe there are only a handful of the breed left in the country.”
The rare fox spotted in England was considered a bad omen in medieval times, and when it was discovered in 2008, it was wandering among gravestones. The article reminds us that foxes tend to change fur colors between warm and cold parts of the year. However, the black rare fox spotted in England is actually a red fox that has a rare genetic flaw that makes its coat turn from red to black instead of red to chestnut.
The Telegraph UK says, “Country villagers traditionally told stories of how the fox was as ‘black as night, so that it could live in a man’s shadow and never be seen.’ ” They also quoted David Dunlop, Lancashire Wildlife Trust conservation officer, who said “In North America, I think it’s about one in five red foxes are black, but that’s because they were introduced from Europe.”
[All images from the referenced links.]