Sorry I didn't get this posted yesterday! I was visiting the frozen North (Montreal) for business and had to conserve my energy to maintain my internal body temperature.
The Swift Fox (Vulpes velox) is a small canid that can be found in North America, primarily in the grasslands in the middle of the continent. It is closely related to the Kit Fox and hybrids sometimes occur in the areas in which their respective ranges overlap. Swift Foxes were nearly exterminated in the 1930s as part of a "predator control program," but has since made a rebound and has been re-introduced into several areas where it had been extirpated.
The Swift Fox is roughly the size of a domestic cat, measuring only 31 inches (79 cm) in body length, and weighing five to seven pounds. There is little sexual dimorphism in the species, although males are slightly bigger than females, on average. Swift Foxes are omnivorous, including grasses and fruits in its diet, along with small mammals and insects.
It's difficult to state definitively whether or not there are subspecies of Swift Foxes. Due to the hybridization that occurs between it and the Kit fox, some biologists treat the Kit Fox as a subspecies of Swift Fox, calling them Vulpes velox velox and Vulpes velox macrotis.
Swift Foxes reach sexual maturity at different times depending on their sex. Male Swift Foxes will reach maturity at one year, and will mate the following season. Female Swift Foxes will usually postpone mating until their second year. Sometimes mated pairs stay together for life, and sometimes they will mate with different partners each year. After a 51-day gestation period, females will give birth to a litter of four to five kits. They will move from burrow to burrow to avoid skin parasites that build up inside the dens.
Swift Foxes get their name because they can reach speeds of 30-40 miles per hour (50-60 km/h). They are currently listed as a species of Least Concern by the IUCN due to the healthy populations in the United States.