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San Joaquin Kit Fox

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Implementproject-specificmeasuresasrequiredbystateandfederalagencies.Legal Status: Federal Endangered Species California Threatened Species

Range: East side of the San Joaquin Valley; interior coastal range from San Benito County south to San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and northern Ventura Counties
Habitat: Grasslands, scrublands, agricultural, and grazed lands; prefers loose- textured soils
Size: Body approximately 31 inches long with an 11-inch-long tail

This small fox’s large ears and bushy, black-tipped tail distinguish it from the more common red fox. San Joaquin kit foxes spend most of their day in sandy, round-shaped burrows and leave hunting for the twilight and nighttime hours. Hunting a territory of up to one square mile, they feed primarily on small mammals and insects. Loss of habitat to agriculture and urban development has lead to the kit fox’s decline.

General Protection Measures:

  • Prohibit any activity near active burrows during breeding and pup rearing (December through July).
    Photo: © B. Moose Peterson/WRP
  • Define and respect clear work area limits.
  • Do not litter.
  • Do not disturb, capture, handle, or move kit foxes or their burrows.
  • Report all dead or injured animals to the proper authorities immediately.
  • Prohibit pets on the job site.
  • Do not use rodenticides.
  • Do not litter.
  • Implement project-specific measures as required by state and federal agencies.

San Joaquin kit foxes and their habitat are protected by both the Federal and California Endangered Species Acts. Consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Game before performing any work in habitat for this protected species. Penalties for harming or harassing these mammals can include up to $100,000 in fines and/or one year in jail.


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