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One of North America’s Rarest Animals Spotted in Yosemite

Published 30 March 2016

Round the World Experts blogger Helen Winter

Helen Winter

For the first time in nearly a century, the rare Sierra Nevada red fox has been caught on camera at California’s Yosemite National Park.

The image of this delicate species was captured by motion-sensitive cameras planted through the northern part of the park. These scientific cameras managed to take two photographs of the fox in both December and January, which is the first time they’ve been seen inside the park since 1916.

There are thought to be as few as 50 Sierra Nevada red foxes in existence in North America after populations were almost diminished by hunting during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Park wildlife biologist Sarah Stock, told National Geographic,"Knowing that the animal is in the park is huge for us. Up until this point we had observations, but none of them were substantiated."

This particular find has inspired for all red-fox optimists, as the animal will now be protected within the national park borders. For an animal currently on the Endangered Species List, this protection proposes promising opportunities for this breed to boost numbers.

Beautiful scenery at Yosemite National Park

To maintain surveillance of this delicate creature, the park will continue using cameras to monitor the foxes as well as ‘hair-snares’- bristle brushes that collect hair samples of the foxes as they wander by.

Want to try and spot one for yourself? Explore Yosemite as part of the USA: California & Canyons journey.

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