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San Joaquin Kit Foxes. Photo courtesy of EDF.

San Joaquin kit fox

General Information: San Joaquin kit foxes are the smallest foxes in North America. They eat kangaroo rats, rabbits, squirrels, ground-nesting birds, reptiles, and insects. They are often found in grasslands, open scrub, and deserts.

CategoryFocal species
Surface Water Needs: None
Federal Listing Status: Endangered
State Listing Status: Threatened

Potential Conservation Actions:  

  • Develop grazing plans
  • Recontour ground
  • Avoid disking croplands
  • Plant natives

Fun Fact

Kit foxes are an umbrella species – protecting their habitat will protect several other imperiled species, too.


San Joaquin kit foxes enjoy various habitats, including grasslands, shrublands, vernal pool areas, alkali meadows and playas, and agricultural lands (e.g., row crops, orchards, irrigated pastures).


Vernal pool areas


Agricultural lands

Disturbance and Stressors

Kit foxes are impacted by traffic, urban development, agriculture, oil and gas development, and other causes of habitat fragmentation.

Intensive agriculture

Urban development

Oil and gas


Kit fox. Courtesy of DWR.
San Joaquin kit fox. Image by Peterson via US FWS.

Sources: Cypher et al. 2000; Cypher et al. 2012; Cypher and Brown 2006; Egoscue 1962; Grinnell et al. 1937; Laughlin 1970; Nelson et al. 2007; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services 1998, 2010, 2017, 2020
Photo credits: Peterson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service