Our neighbors at the Fort Belknap Indian Community initiated a swift fox reintroduction program in 2020. The five-year program is a collaboration among the Fort Belknap Indian Community, our partners at Smithsonian’s Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (SZCBI), and other conservation organizations in the region – including American Prairie.
From 2020-2023, biologists and volunteers relocated 103 swift foxes to Aaniiih Nakoda lands at Fort Belknap. The relocated foxes established dens, and the animals were monitored, counted, and observed by researchers, interns from Aaniiih Nakoda College, and members of the community. GPS collar data shows the foxes traveling across Fort Belknap and beyond last year – including onto American Prairie lands – and eyewitness reports shared news of at least 16 pups!
Read more about the program on Smithsonian’s website:
And read more about our ongoing work with Smithsonian here.
We are proud to work alongside tribal communities and sovereign nations whose modern and ancestral lands encompass the habitats critical to the swift fox’s survival. Their traditional knowledge and stewardship of the landscape is invaluable to region-wide restoration and collaboration, and for ensuring the long-term sustainability of this vital ecosystem. Together, we uphold our shared responsibility to protect and preserve the natural world for future generations.
In addition to swift fox work, we collaborate with the InterTribal Bison Council on bison restoration efforts. Last year, we transferred 107 bison to Tribal Nations in Montana, South Dakota, and Washington State.
Read more about how we work with Tribal Nations to restore bison here.