Project Spotlight: Kit Fox Distribution in West Texas
Where can kit fox be found in Texas? That’s the research objective of a Borderlands Research Institute study currently being conducted in the Trans-Pecos region of West Texas. Kit fox have been sighted in West Texas before, but the distribution and status of the nocturnal creature is unknown. The BRI study aims to assess the distribution of kit fox in Texas and to aid in their conservation through public involvement and management recommendations. Researchers are also looking at the co-occurrence of kit fox with other mesocarnivores such as coyotes, gray fox, bobcats, and skunks.
Researchers have identified areas of historical and more recent observations of kit fox in Texas by combing through published databases and scientific reports along with canvassing local wildlife biologists and natural resource managers. Suitable habitat can be found in all nine counties in the Trans-Pecos, and now researchers are surveying those areas using remote trail cameras. A network of citizen scientists and graduate students are working on the project. Once the project is complete, BRI researchers will map their potential distribution and will expand public awareness through education and outreach. The study is being funded by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and project photos have been posted online.
Visit BRI’s Carnivore Monitoring Network Flickr site to see some of our photos.