Implications for the Conservation of Endangered
San Joaquin Kit Foxes
Brian L. Cypher
Research Ecologist, Endangered Species Recovery Program, P.O. Box 9622, Bakersfield, CA 93389; (661) 837-5061;
(fax) (661) 398-0549; firstname.lastname@example.org
Howard O. Clark, Jr.
Ecologist, Endangered Species Recovery Program, 1900 N. Gateway Blvd., #101, Fresno, CA 93727; (559) 453-1103;
(fax) (559) 453-1227; email@example.com
Patrick A. Kelly
Director, Endangered Species Recovery Program, 1900 N. Gateway Blvd., #101, Fresno, CA 93727; (559) 453-1103; (fax)
(559) 453-1227; firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine Van Horn Job
Ecologist, Endangered Species Recovery Program, 3517 Sedona Way, Bakersfield, CA 93309; (661) 834-6781;
Gregory D. Warrick
Manager, Center for Natural Lands Management, 10018 Rain Check Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93312; (661) 399-2257;
Daniel F. Williams
Executive Director, Endangered Species Recovery Program, Department of Biological Sciences, California State
University - Stanislaus, Turlock, CA 95382; (209) 667-3446; (fax) (209) 667-3694; email@example.com.
Interspecific interactions among wild canids have significant implications for the conservation
and recovery of endangered San Joaquin kit foxes(Vulpes macrotis mutica). Coyotes (Canis
latrans) and non-native red foxes (V. vulpes) both engage in interference and exploitative compe-tition
with kit foxes. Several behavioral and ecological adaptations of kit foxes ameliorate such
competition with coyotes and facilitate their coexistence. These adaptations include habitat
partitioning, food partitioning, opportunistic foraging patterns, and year-round use of multiple
dens. These adaptations are less effective against red foxes due to greater food and habitat
overlap, the ability to pursue kit foxes into dens, and high potential for disease transmission.
Thus, non-native red foxes pose a serious threat to kit foxes. Interactions between coyotes and
red foxes may benefit kit foxes. In particular, interference competition by coyotes may limit the
abundance and distribution of red foxes in the San Joaquin Valley. These interactions should be
considered when evaluating management options (e.g., predator control).