The International Swift Fox Survey 2014/2015 is officially underway. After a great deal of planning the teams have been interviewed and hired, the equipment is purchased and organized, and the team training at the Calgary Zoo completed with the attendance of all four Canadian teams. Now it is off to the southern Alberta, Saskatchewan/Montana border region to meet up with the two Montana teams for an intense week of hands on in field training.
Why survey you ask? There has not been a swift fox population –wide survey conducted in these three regions (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Montana border area) since 2006, which were known to have small established populations. We want to determine if the population is sustainable over long term and if there are changes in the abundance, distribution or composition in the Swift Fox population. The field work will include camera-trap monitoring and live trapping during the 2014-2015 winter period.
These next four months for the teams will include long dark nights (swift foxes are nocturnal), cold wintery days (temperature ranging from -1 ºC to -52ºC depending on the wind chill), hopefully not too much snow (last year cameras were snowed in until March), and an experience that will never be forgotten.