PETIONED: 2013, California Endangered Species Act

RANGE: The Mojave and Colorado deserts in California. Desert kit fox range extends into southern Nevada, western Arizona, the southwest tip of Utah and Mexico.

THREATS: Habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation due to large-scale industrial energy development; mortality from roads and off-road vehicles; increased nonnative plant cover; urbanization; agriculture; increased competition with other canids and depredation grazing; climate change; and now canine distemper

POPULATION TREND: Due to a lack of population monitoring, population trends for the desert kit fox in California are unknown. We do know that the accelerating loss of habitat is likely to be contributing to population declines across the fox's range, concentrated in regions with the greatest habitat impacts. The desert kit fox population also declined in 2011 and 2012 due to a local die-off from a canine distemper outbreak in a region surrounding the Genesis Solar energy development site in eastern Riverside County.

Photo courtesy Flickr/sfitzgerald86