Rare foxes spotted in Oregon may help California

Biologists captured, radio-collared 2 Sierra Nevada red foxes found in Oregon

A Sierra Nevada red fox as seen on the National Park Service website, May 22, 2017
A Sierra Nevada red fox as seen on the National Park Service website, May 22, 2017

BEND, Ore. (AP) – Biologists are hoping a rare subspecies of foxes spotted in Oregon can help boost the number of them living in California.

The Bend Bulletin reported Saturday that biologists captured and radio-collared two of the Sierra Nevada red foxes found in Oregon. There are believed to be less than 50 of the foxes living in Northern California.

DNA samples are being sent to a laboratory at the University of California, Davis. Biologist Tim Hiller says the lab work could confirm if the Oregon foxes are able to breed with the California foxes.

Sierra Nevada red foxes in California are on a waiting list for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act. The Oregon foxes are not close to being on a federal listing, but are an Oregon Conservation Strategy Species.