Story at a glance

  • The Sierra Nevada red fox will soon be listed as a federally endangered species.
  • Only about 40 of the bushy-tailed creatures still inhabit an area of California that reaches from Lake Tahoe to the south of Yosemite National Park.
  • The Sierra Nevada red fox population is threatened by wildfires, coyotes, droughts, trapping and breeding with nonnative foxes.

The Sierra Nevada red fox will soon be listed as a federally endangered species, announced the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Monday.

Wildlife officials said in a ruling that only about 40 of the bushy-tailed creatures still inhabit an area of California that reaches from Lake Tahoe to the south of Yosemite National Park. All sightings of the foxes have occurred on federal lands.


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The agency’s ruling in the Federal Register said the Sierra Nevada red fox population is threatened by wildfires, coyotes, droughts, trapping and breeding with nonnative foxes, leaving the animal “in danger of extinction throughout all of its range.”

“While the exact number remains unknown and is also subject to change with new births and deaths,” the Federal Register states, “it is well below population levels that would provide resiliency, redundancy and representation to the population.”

The ruling will go into effect on Sept. 2.


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Published on Aug 04, 2021