Friday, July 12, 2019

Foxes on Santa Cruz Island are Wearing FIF Collars


This island fox was captured and counted this week on Santa Cruz Island. 

She received a health check and her radio-tracking collar was replaced with a newly refurbished collar. Her old collar will come off and be eligible for refurbishing. 



Earlier this year, 20 radio collars from Santa Cruz Island were sent in for refurbishing and funded by FIF.

In just a few minutes this little fox was released back into the wild. Her refurbished radio collar has a battery that will last 2-3 years.


Her microchip enables biologists to identify her as a specific individual. If she is caught again this summer, the microchip reader will quickly identify her so that she can be released immediately without being handled.

Your donation of $220 would recycle her used radio collar to be placed on another island fox.

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Research Grant Deadline - July 12, 2019


The more we know about island foxes, the better we can play a positive role in their continued survival.

Friends of the Island Fox is accepting proposals for research projects that improve our scientific understanding of island foxes. Grant funding up to $5,000 is available.

The deadline for this year's applications is July 12, 2019.



Friends of the Island Fox Funded Research


Other Researchers:

We hope you are noticing that island fox research is filled with innovative women.


For other research regarding island foxes: 

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Fox Foto Friday - Radio Collars Going On Island Foxes

photo courtesy of M. Navarro, CINP
Island foxes on Santa Cruz Island are receiving health checks and being fitted with newly refurbished radio tracking collars RIGHT NOW!

You refurbished these radio collars and today they are going on island foxes.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

More Radio Collars for Island Foxes !


This island fox is smiling because it is wearing a newly refurbished radio collar. More about M152

Two things happened this week:
  • 7 newly refurbished radio collars arrived at Channel Islands National Park to be deployed on San Miguel and Santa Rosa Island foxes
  • FIF funded our 27th radio collar this year!

Twenty refurbished radio collars went to Santa Cruz Island in May to be fitted on island foxes this summer. 

You helped fund these radio collars to monitor island fox health and welfare

But we aren't done yet. 

Health checks and annual counting are starting across the islands. This is when old damaged radio collars are removed and replaced with new or refurbished radio collars. 

 


FIF is hoping to fund:

  • 5 more $350 new collar
  • 13 more $220 refurbished collars 

We know we can do this with YOUR HELP!


The time to radio collar island foxes is right NOW! 
Please DONATE TODAY 

Monday, June 10, 2019

FIF Funds Important Health Investigations for Island Foxes

Why are these biologists smiling? Because you are helping island foxes.

Mike Watling (FIF) presents funds to Lara Brenner (CIC) and Laura Shaskey (CINP)

At the annual meeting of the Island Fox Conservation Working Group, Mike Watling, a member of the Friends of the Island Fox Advisory Committee, presented FIF donations to support important investigations into the health of island foxes.

$3,000 to the Fox Program at Catalina Island Conservancy
tick attached to fox lower eyelid
This funding will test a second year of tick samples to determine the threat to island foxes from Lyme disease introduced to several islands in 2018. More on tick-borne disease testing. 

It also represents support from a Fresno Chaffee Zoo Wildlife Conservation grant that will analyze blood samples from island foxes on Catalina for signs of introduced disease. Once again a stow-away raccoon was recently stopped before hopping from a private boat to Catalina Island. Introduction of new diseases via pets and transported wildlife continue to be a problem for all islands, but especially Catalina. In 2018, blood samples revealed for the first time that a small number of Catalina Island foxes were exposed to a form of canine herpes virus. This important testing also detected exposure to a common dog illness, Coronavirus. 30% of the tested island foxes had been exposed to Coronavirus. Fortunately, no island foxes are known to have died from this disease.


$2,000 to the Fox Program at Channel Islands National Park
Intestinal parasites are causing early deaths among island foxes on San Miguel Island. This funding is part of a multi-pronged investigation to understand why and how new parasites are plaguing foxes on this island and why well-known parasites are causing greater impacts on San Miguel Island foxes. (see other ways FIF is helping this investigation)  

When you donate to FIF 
your donations go right to work helping island foxes.
  


Friday, May 24, 2019

You Can Help Island Foxes with Radio Collars


These island fox radio collars have gone to the shop to be refurbished. They have been chewed on, rubbed on rocks, and used as teething bars by island fox pups. But, with your help these collars can be repaired and used to help island foxes, again.

Radio-tracking collars protect whole islands of island foxes.

Radio-tracking collars can also be used for specific situations:

Which foxes wear radio-tracking collars?
 
Soon the radio collars above will be renewed and ready for the field. Before they can start making a difference, Friends of the Island Fox needs to pay for them. 

Refurbishing these 20 radio collars costs over $4,000

Your donation can help put these radio collars back on a wild island fox. 

Please DONATE TODAY 
to help monitor island foxes all year long.

Friday, May 10, 2019

This Island Fox Pup Needs You!

Across the Channel Islands, winter rains have renewed the native island plants and increased food resources for island foxes. 

2019 should be a good year for island fox pups!


Most island foxes are born in April. For the first several months of their lives, they depend on their mother for milk. Both parents will then bring food to the youngsters back at the den. Pups, generally, emerge in June and over the summer their parents teach them how to hunt and find native fruit. Healthy island fox parents have a head start in raising healthy pups.

You can help keep island foxes healthy and safe. 

This year the need for radio-tracking collars is greater than ever.

On each island 50–60 island foxes wear radio-tracking collars. Each year 30% to 50% of the collars need to be replaced or refurbished.

 

In 2019, Friends of the Island Fox is trying to fund:
island fox is vaccinated during health check
These radio collars will be assigned to island foxes this summer and fall during annual counting and health checks. A radio-tracking collar monitors an island fox's movements and signals to biologists when an island fox has died. Radio-tracking collars provide the first alert that disease, parasites, or unexpected predators have killed an island fox.

The sooner biologists can respond to a new threat, the more island foxes can be protected.

Friends of the Island Fox is also helping to fund important investigations into new health threats facing island foxes:
photo courtesy of Inge Rose
Foxes need your help with science-based solutions.
  • $25 tests a tick sample for 5 diseases
  • $50 checks two blood samples
  • $100 analyzes diet from 10 whisker samples
  • $220 refurbishes a used radio collar
  • $350 funds a new radio collar
Island foxes need all of us to help assure the pups of 2019 grow up in a healthy island fox community.

Please DONATE today

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Fox Foto Friday - Urocyon littoralis

The island fox's scientific name is Urocyon littoralis which means "tailed dog of the seashore." 


Though the fox's tail isn't all that visible, this photo gives a true sense of the fox in it's seashore habitat. (More on each island habitat.) This image was taken by an automated wildlife camera on Santa Rosa Island during the early days of island fox recovery. Feeding stations were set-up for foxes with supplemental food until they eased back into finding their own natural diet.

island foxes in captive breeding 2000-2008
After the Santa Rosa Island fox population declined from approximately 1,800 animals to only 15 surviving individuals, their future was questionable. Island foxes born at a captive breeding facility on the island were gradually released into the wild from 2003–2008. Why did island foxes become endangered?

Today island foxes on Santa Rosa Island have recovered to pre-crisis numbers and Friends of the Island Fox supports island fox health investigations, research, and radio-tracking collars used to monitor the population. In 2019 wildlife cameras are being used in the field again to investigate relationships between island foxes and islands spotted skunks.


Monday, April 15, 2019

Friends of the Island Fox Research Grant 2019

Friends of the Island Fox is currently accepting applications for the 2019 FIF Research Grant.


The mission of Friends of the Island Fox (FIF) is to bring together conservation professionals and concerned private citizens to create public awareness about the island fox and to raise funds to support education, research, and conservation measures to ensure the island fox's survival and protect its island home.
 
In 2019, Friends of the Island Fox is making $5,000 available in grant funding to researchers working on projects that align with our mission.


Applications will be accepted through July 12, 2019. Recipients will be notified September 9, 2019.

  • What is the typical size of island fox territory? 
  • How has the genetic bottleneck of 2000 impacted genetic diversity of island foxes on Santa Rosa and San Miguel Islands? 
  • What are the greatest disease threats to long-term island fox survival? 
  • What is the relationship between island foxes and island spotted skunks?
  • What is the best scientific method to determine island fox age? 
The more we know about island foxes, the safer their future will be.

Previous FIF Research Grant Recipients
2018 - "The Channel Island Food Web–A Decade of Dietary Resource Use in Channel Island Fox: Implications for Reproduction, Recruitment, and Resilience in a Changing Climate." - Juliann Schamel, 2019 Update

Your donations to Friends of the Island Fox
help make this research grant possible

Friday, April 05, 2019

Fox Foto Friday - Foxes and Spotted Skunks

How can we enter the world of the island fox and the other animals that live on the Channel Islands without disturbing their natural behavior? One way is with strategically placed movement-activated cameras.


Researchers found an area with evidence of island fox activity. Evidence like tracks and scat. They positioned the special camera and left it to document the animals that walked past. Not only was an island fox using this area of Santa Rosa Island, so were the two spotted skunks, pictured below. Both were using the area at night.


Notice that the dates on the two images are months apart. Still, images like these are helping to provide information to better understand the interactions between species and the species themselves. Island spotted skunks are considered solitary creatures, yet the image captured two together. The biologists titled this image a "rumble." What brought these two skunks together? Territorial dispute? Mating season? There is so much to learn about the lives of island foxes and their neighbors.