Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Daniel W. Uresk; Kieth E. Severson; Jody Javersak
    Date: 2003
    Source: Res. Pap. RMRS-RP-39. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 5 p.
    Publication Series: Research Paper (RP)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (300 B)


    We compared two methods of detecting presence of swift fox: smoked-plate scent stations and spotlight counts. Tracks were counted on ten 1-mile (1.6-km) transects with bait/tracking plate stations every 0.1 mile (0.16 km). Vehicle spotlight counts were conducted on the same transects. Methods were compared with Spearman's rank order correlation. Repeated measures analysis of variance was used to test the null hypothesis that there were no differences between months or between days that track and spotlight counts were conducted. We also evaluated optimum spacing of tracking plates by comparing estimates of the proportion of plates with swift fox tracks based on all plates against estimates based on a subset of plates with the latter mimicking a lower sampling intensity. Analyses of spotlight counts were limited by the preponderance of zero data points. Further, there was no defined relationship between track counts and spotlight counts. We determined that track stations could be used successfully to detect swift fox. More tracks were found in September than in July or August. We suggest a system of 1-mile (1.6-km)-long transects with four stations placed at 0.3-mile (0.5-km) intervals during late August and September. We also recommend counting tracks for 2 to 3 consecutive nights to ensure an adequate sample.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Uresk, Daniel W.; Severson, Kieth E.; Javersak, Jody. 2003. Detecting swift fox: Smoked-plate scent stations versus spotlighting. Res. Pap. RMRS-RP-39. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 5 p.


    Google Scholar


    swift fox, Vulpes velox, monitoring techniques, track counts, spotlight counts, smoked plates, South Dakota

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page