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San Joaquin kit fox        Images © Mark A. Chappell

The charming little kit fox (Vulpes macrotis) has a fairly extensive range on the plains and deserts of southwestern North America, but the race from California's Central Valley, the San Joaquin kit fox (V. m. mutica) has suffered from habitat loss and competition and is now classified as endangered.  It is found in only a few scattered locations, including (oddly) the city of Bakersfield, which has taken them to heart.   I found this one in the Carrizo Plain National Monument, west of the San Joaquin Valley (and home to several other endangered species including the San Joaquin antelope squirrel and the giant and short-nosed kangaroo rats -- which kit foxes sometimes eat).   It was a bit wary, but permitted several photos before bounding lightly away.   The female below was considerably more retiring and showed only her eyes and ears.

  • Canon 1D4, 800 mm IS lens plus 1.4X converter (2013)