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Scholarship Recipient

Matt Hewitt

Matt Hewitt

Matt Hewitt

Year Received:

Graduate Research Assistant, Masters of Science, Natural Resource Management

Distribution of kit fox in the Trans-Pecos region of Texas

The kit fox (Vulpes macrotis), is a small fox species endemic to the grasslands of the western
United States and northern Mexico. To date no research has been conducted on the Texas
population, resulting in a lack of understanding about the distribution and abundance of kit fox in
the area. Interest in kit fox distribution in the Trans-Pecos region of Texas comes from a
dramatic reduction from historical numbers of swift fox (Vulpes velox), a similar species of fox
in the Texas Panhandle. This project will use trail cameras on a 3 km grid across suitable habitat
(grasslands with <5% slope) in the Trans-Pecos region to determine occupancy and distribution.
Each location will be surveyed in 10-day intervals with cameras being moved every 14 days.
Surveys will be conducted from March 2018 to May 2019. Photos will be sorted and organized
with Adobe Bridge. With information from this study I hope to determine kit fox distribution in
the Trans-Pecos region of Texas, effects of co-occurrence of sympatric carnivores on kit fox
distribution, and model future distributions based on habitat requirements.

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