Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Washington
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Washington Project

Assessing anthropogenic threats and predation/competition from coyotes on Cascade red fox combining spatial capture-recapture methods and historical Indigenous knowledge

March 2022 - September 2025


Participating Agencies

  • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • USGS

The Cascade red fox (CRF) is one of the rarest and most genetically distinct carnivores in North America. Historically, CRF were distributed throughout the Cascade Range from southern British Columbia to southern Washington. Today, CRF appear to be absent from the North Cascades and are found primarily in Washington’s South Cascades including Mount Rainier National Park (MORA) and surrounding wilderness. Using a combination of existing scat and camera trap sampling, radio-tagging foxes, and interviews, we will achieve the following objectives: 1) Develop estimates of density and survival of CRF in MORA and the surrounding area, and evaluate the effect of spatial covariates, including those related to threats, on density and survival, 2) Understand how coyotes influence CRF habitat use in MORA and the surrounding area, and 3) Use Indigenous and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) to understand pre-colonization versus contemporary coyote distribution in the southern Washington Cascades. This work will inform ongoing conservation of CRF throughout their range in Washington.