What do you do when your collared foxes are missing? The California Department of Fish and Wildlife Investigations Lab has been tracking desert kit foxes to study an outbreak of canine distemper. Deana Clifford, the Wildlife Investigation Lab’s (WIL) wildlife veterinarian for non-game threatened and endangered species is running the project.
Over the summer, however, some of the collared foxes’ radio signals disappeared after flash flooding in the study area. After several attempts on foot, the researchers took to the air and found the missing foxes with an airplane equipped with a tracking antenna.
Lots of information on this project from CDFW WIL:
Here’s the blog post on the air search
Here’s the background on canine distemper in desert foxes.
And here’s an post about the first kit fox pup of the year.
Idaho Fish and Game is taking to the air, too. But this is just a routine big game survey, which they do in key hunt units every three years.
Read the press release here.
Photo: A remote camera photographs a radio collared fox in California’s Chuckwalla Valley – part of the Colorado Desert. Photo courtesy of David Elms from California’s Region 6 DFW office.