You may be harming vulnerable wildlife like the San Joaquin kit fox without knowing it!
The San Joaquin (SJ) kit fox was once a thriving species in the 1930s, making
their home in native grasslands of the Central Valley. In 1967 the federal government listed them as an endangered species and in 1971 California also listed them as
threatened. SJ kit
foxes play an important role in the ecosystem, but because they are adapting
to changes in the landscape that are caused by urban development, sometimes
humans find themselves in conflict
with this typically shy and fearful animal.
The cities of Bakersfield, Taft and Coalinga
are unique because kit foxes have become
established in those urban settings.
SJ kit foxes are hunters of insects, rodents
and rabbits, but will take advantage
of whatever is available including
garbage and pet food. When kit foxes have easy access to trash and pet
food, their natural behavior changes. They often lose caution and fear of
people and urban environments exposing them to dangers from sports nets,
poisons and vehicles.
Because of federal and state endangered species laws, it is unlawful for public
to handle or trap a SJ kit fox that is causing conflict in an urban environment.
Well-intentioned attempts to do so may result in injury or even death to
Help prevent deadly conflicts for these beautiful and rare wild animals:
- Never feed a kit fox or other wildlife; keep pet food indoors.
- Remove sources of water.
- Seal trash containers to prevent access.
- Put away bird feeders at night to avoid attracting rodents and other prey.
- Pick up fallen fruit and cover compost piles.
- Don't trap stray cats in areas used by kit foxes. Trapped foxes could get
injured and their pups are vulnerable when unattended.
- Never fill or destroy a burrow that may be used by kit foxes. State and federal
laws protect their burrows.
- Take down sports nets at schools, parks and other recreational facilities
when not in use. Store furled and out of reach, especially at night.
- Avoid the use of rodent poisons in kit fox habitat.
If you find a trapped, injured, or distressed San Joaquin kit fox or to
obtain additional information, please contact:
Department of Fish and Game
559-243-4005 ext. 133
Please respect and protect wild animals.
Keep them wild.