Back to top
Swift Fox

Like many grassland species, the small and charismatic swift fox has been displaced from over 60 percent of its historic range.

They are classified in Montana as “vulnerable because of rarity or restricted range and/or other factors.” Today there remains a distribution gap between the population of swift foxes along the Montana-Canada border and that of the core population in Wyoming, South Dakota, and south to New Mexico and Texas.


In 2004, scientists from World Wildlife Fund and the Fort Peck Reservation began surveying the Reservation lands to assess the presence of foxes and the suitability of the habitat for swift fox populations. They learned that while a few foxes persisted, no breeding population existed on the Reservation. However, the abundance of den holes, prey, and predators indicated that the habitat was suitable for fox restoration efforts. In collaboration with the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Tribal Wildlife Grants, 40 swift foxes were reintroduced to Reservation lands in 2006 and 2009.

In 2010, World Wildlife Fund conducted a survey for foxes on and around American Prairie Reserve and found none. It was recommended that we reintroduce foxes to the area. Read more: World Wildlife Fund Swift Fox Report (2010)

Photo of Landmark volunteer


In 2015, we again partnered with World Wildlife Fund as well as a graduate researcher from Oregon State University to survey for swift fox on Reserve lands and found no presence. In 2016, Landmark volunteers are assessing habitat suitability for swift fox in anticipation of APR's formal request for a reintroduction permit from Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks later this year.