The swift fox is another species that takes refuge in the
prairie soil. "Their tallons appear longer than any species
of fox I ever saw and seem therefore prepared more amply by
nature for the purpose of burrowing," Lewis wrote in
his description of the small canine. The northern variety
(Vulpes velox hebes) has been particularly affected by changes
in the prairie composition since settlement. In 1995, the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that an endangered-species
listing for the swift fox was warranted, but that other species
were a higher priority. The Blackfeet tribe has launched a
reintroduction program on a reservation outside Glacier National
Park and has released almost 100 foxes since 1998.
Federal candidate, state threatened.