Between 1981 and 1982 blood samples were collected from 64 adult San Joaquin kit foxes, Vulpes macrotis mutica, in western Kern County, California. The goal of the study was to establish normal blood values for this endangered species, and to determine whether changes in them could be used to assess the possible effects of petroleum developments on these foxes. None of the values differed significantly between the sexes, or between foxes sampled in developed habitats compared with foxes sampled in undisturbed habitats. Mean values of Hb, MCH, MCHC, and WBC counts differed significantly between summer and winter. Average hematological characteristics were: RBC, 8.4 × 106/μ1; Hb, 14.5 g/dl (summer), 15.6 g/dl (winter); PCV, 46.9%; MCV, 56.3 fl; MCH, 17.8 pg (summer), 18.4 pg (winter); MCHC, 31.2 g/dl (summer), 33.2 g/dl (winter); and WBC, 6,200/ μl (summer), 7,500/μl (winter). Comparisons of hematological data for kit foxes, coyotes (Canis latrans), and wolves (Canis lupus) confirmed a previously published observation that within mammalian families RBC counts are correlated inversely with body weight, and that MCV is correlated directly with body weight.
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