A CONSERVATION STRATEGY FOR THE SIERRA NEVADA RED FOX: FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
|Julia R Lawson; California Department of Fish and Wildlife; email@example.com; Chris Stermer, California Department of Fish and Wildlife|
The Sierra Nevada red fox (Vulpes vulpes necator; SNRF) is a montane subspecies native to California and Oregon. The distribution, abundance, and genetic diversity of the majority of extant SNRF populations have declined substantially since the 1920s, suggesting that a proactive approach will be necessary to recover the subspecies. In 2018, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife convened a team of 35 scientists and resource managers — the SNRF Conservation Advisory Team (SCAT) — to collaboratively develop a range-wide Conservation Strategy for the SNRF. The Strategy is now complete. Building on the latest information about SNRF ecology, distribution, and population status, the Strategy evaluates potential threats to the subspecies, identifies urgent research questions, and presents a framework for implementing management actions to promote recovery. An immediate priority is assessing the feasibility of translocations to achieve a genetic rescue of the SNRF population in the Lassen Peak region, which is extremely vulnerable to extirpation due to small population size, isolation, and inbreeding. The Strategy represents an immense cooperative effort on the part of numerous agencies and individuals across two states. The completion of this document is in itself a conservation success, providing a crucial blueprint for the next steps in SNRF recovery.