Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Tribes Reintroduce Swift Fox to Northern Montana's Fort Belknap Reservation


October 14, 2020

A reintroduced swift fox outfitted with a GPS collar looks out across the shortgrass prairie of the Fort Belknap Reservation in northern Montana. The tribes on the reservation are bringing the species back to Fort Belknap after an absence of more than 50 years. (Wes Overvold)

Swift foxes have been absent from the shortgrass prairie of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in northern Montana for more than half a century. But last month, that changed when the Assiniboine (Nakoda) and Gros Ventre (Aaniiih) Tribes of Fort Belknap reintroduced 27 swift foxes to the reservation, restoring a piece of the Great Plains ecosystem and a part of the tribes' natural heritage.

For the tribes of Fort Belknap, restoring and maintaining their natural environment has been a priority for decades. The tribes reintroduced buffalo to the reservation's 675,147 acres of prairie in the 1970s and the herd, centered around a 22,000-acre plot at Snake Butte, is now close to 800 strong. Fort Belknap also brought back black-footed ferrets via reintroductions in the 1990s and early 2000s.


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