FOSTERING ORPHANED PUPS OF ENDANGERED SAN JOAQUIN KIT FOXES (VULPES MACROTIS MUTICA): FOUR CASE STUDIES
|Nicole A Deatherage; Endangered Species Recovery Program; email@example.com; Brian Cypher, Tory Westall, Erica Kelly
We describe four case studies in central California in which young San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica) pups were orphaned and either fostered for a period of time in captivity and released, or provisioned entirely in the wild by caretakers. In February 1992, six pups whose mother had died by predation were temporarily fostered in captivity. Four of the pups were then placed in the den of their father and an unrelated female (Case 1) and the remaining two pups were placed with an entirely unrelated family group (Case 2). In April 2019, a mother of five pups died by vehicle strike. These pups appeared to be weaned though no other adults were present, so they were provisioned at their natal den (Case 3). In spring 2022, one abandoned pup was hospitalized for sarcoptic mange concurrently with an unrelated family group consisting of an adult female and her three pups. The orphaned pup was introduced into the family group while in captivity and all were released together after recovery (Case 4). Of the 12 orphaned pups in all cases, at least seven survived till dispersal age, two survived into the following year, and one reproduced.