An incredible rare, and critically endangered, Sierra Nevada Red Fox was spotted on camera for the first time in 100 years. There are believed to be only about 50 of the species left alive. But, the video may be a brief sign of hope that the red fox isn’t a total loss, and conservation efforts can still change the fate of this recently endangered North American mammal.
The National Parks Service released a full statement on the sighting, declaring it a happy surprise.
“We are thrilled to hear about the sighting of the Sierra Nevada red fox, one of the most rare and elusive animals in the Sierra Nevada. National parks like Yosemite provide habitat for all wildlife, and it is encouraging to see that the red fox was sighted in the park.”
According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, one of the biggest risk factors for the Sierra Nevada red fox is interbreeding with other non-native red foxes brought to the area for fur farming and hunting. The government is now receiving a few review from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The National Parks Service statement continued,
“There are dozens of subspecies of red fox and each subspecies has adapted to the special habitat and prey conditions within its range. The range of the Sierra Nevada red fox is limited to the conifer forests and rugged alpine landscape of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges between 4,000 feet and 12,000 feet—mostly above 7,000 feet. The Sierra Nevada red fox is so uncommon that the California Fish and Game Commission declared it threatened in 1980.”
Still, it’s not as if the fox wasn’t in the Yosemite area these past 100 years. As the statement goes on to say the species is fairly elusive.
“It’s likely that the Sierra Nevada red fox has been in the backcountry of Yosemite in the last century, but they are rare enough and secretive enough that they haven’t been encountered by anyone who has been able to document them.”
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the National Park Service will continue to monitor the rare fox species as it hopefully it population recovers.
[Image via CSERC/Youtube]