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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Swift fox response to prescribed fire in shortgrass steppe

Published source details

Thompson C.M., Augustine D.J. & Mayers D.M. (2008) Swift fox response to prescribed fire in shortgrass steppe. Western North American Naturalist, 68, 251-256


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use prescribed burning Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A before-and-after study in 2003–2005 of grassland in Colorado, USA (Thompson et al. 2008), found that after a prescribed fire, swift foxes Vulpes velox denned more in the burned area but hunting use of the area did not significantly increase. Two foxes with core home ranges in the burn area denned inside the burn area more after the burn (100% of denning locations) than before (60–75% of locations). For four foxes with home ranges overlapping the burn area, the proportion of times they were located hunting in the burn area was not significantly higher after burning (45% of locations inside burn area) than before (32%). In January 2003–December 2004, ten foxes were radio-collared. Location was recorded ≥three times/week in 2003–2005. In March 2005, an area of 260 ha was burned by prescribed fire. Sufficient locations were obtained from four foxes to determine pre- and post-burn home range use.

(Summarised by Courtney Werner)