WA lists Cascade red fox as endangered species
The Washington state Fish and Wildlife Commission has listed the Cascade red fox as an endangered species.
This comes after Mount Rainier Wildlife ecologists drafted a report in July, recommending the foxes be listed as a threatened sub-species.
Cascade red foxes are an endemic subspecies of the red fox, native to alpine habitats of the southern Cascade Mountains.
No resident population is currently known to exist north of the Interstate 90 corridor. Climate change could reduce the availability of habitat for this species.
According to the Fish and Wildlife website, the foxes have a high vulnerability to climate change because they are adapted specifically to a higher elevation with colder climates, which has been reduced due to warming temperatures and longer fire seasons.
Over the course of the next few years, the report says that the wildlife commission will need to develop a recovery plan for the species to prevent them from going extinct.
The newest report says they only exist in about half their historical habitat.
This puts pressure on the state agency to further research the animal and develop a recovery plan to keep this species of fox from going extinct.
They are one of the top predators in the mountains and play a vital role in keeping their ecosystem intact.
Going forward the agency is looking to conduct a more in-depth review to find a resident population of Cascade red foxes in the North Cascades to better understand how to protect the sub-species.