Date of Award:

5-1977

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Wildland Resources

Committee Chair(s)

J. Juan Spillett

Committee

J. Juan Spillett

Committee

Frederick F. Knowlton

Committee

Bradley W. Parlin

Committee

Gar W. Workman

Committee

Albert W. Heggen

Abstract

The distribution of the kit fox (Vulpes macrotis) in Utah was studied from 1974 to 1976 . A variety of methods were used, but a questionnaire sent annually to state and federal agencies, combined with interviews of fie ld personnel of these agencies, was found to be the most valuable. Kit foxes occur in western Utah and Washington County as previously reported. In addition, range extensions were noted in central Utah , and in Carbon, Emery, Grand, Wayne, and Garfield counties in east-central Utah. These range extensions total approximately 4,600-square miles (12,000-square kilometers). The kit fox probably also inhabits San Juan County , but this was not confirmed.

Stepwise discriminant analysis was performed on groups of skull s representing the three nominal subspecies of V. macrotis reported to occur in Utah (V. m. nevadensis, arsipus, and neomexicana). The skulls were judged to represent three distinct populations significantly different from each other in at least seven skull characteristics. Six specimens from eastern Utah and western Colorado were tentatively assigned to V. m. nevadensis.

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