Sierra Nevada Red Fox photo credit: U.S. Forest Service (trail camera).
Colors are markedly different from our red fox. NOTE: photo of a red fox appears on bottom.
If a miracle is the unexpected resurrection of a wildlife species thought to be nearly extinct --I believe in miracles. Nature is constantly working to "create miracles" through the wonders of adaptation and evolution. One such tale is the Sierra Nevada Red Fox. Last August a bit of genetic slobber on a bait bag of chicken scraps confirmed what a photograph taken by a motion sensitive trail camera a bit north of Yosemite National Park seemed to hint-- and woodsmen and hikers had rumored: The oddly colored Seirra Nevada Red Fox was not extinct. (The last confirmed sighting had been over two decades ealier) The hunt for confirmation with more trail cameras and genetic collection studies was under way.
By autumn two more Sierra Nevada red fox were confirmed in the Stanislaus National Forest just a few miles from the original sighting. The U.S. Forest Service and the Califonia Department of Fish and Game now knew they had a genetically unique breeding population, not a single wandering individual. Once wide spread in northern California it now appears that nature has found her way and the Sierra Nevada red fox is here to stay. And as you read these words in the New Year these rare fox are hunting in the snowy mountains for a feast of hare, unaware of the excitement they stirred to life among nature lovers and wildlife biologists everywhere.
A red fox captured on my motion sensitve trail camera one year ago this week between by barn and house. His tracks in the snow this year tell me he still has successful mouse hunts.
photo by Jonathan Schechter (trail camera)