|Island Fox Friends from Fresno Chaffee Zoo visit Santa Cruz Island|
For the third year in a row the Fresno Chaffee Zoo’s Conservation Committee has awarded a conservation grant to Friends of the Island Fox.
The $1,000.00 grant will fund four radio collars to be worn by endangered island foxes on the northern islands.
Radio collars provide biologists with information on where island foxes are living and whether or not they are alive. (See Catalina Island Fire) If an island fox stops moving for 6 hours, the radio collar changes its regular transmission pattern to a “mortality beep.” This allows biologists to recover the body quickly and determine the cause of death (Necropsy).
Island foxes with radio collars provide the first alert that a golden eagle has returned to the Channel Islands, that disease has been introduced, or that some other unnatural situation could be impacting island foxes. See Fire Fox and The Island Fox and the Fishing Hook. This past spring, several island foxes were killed when a golden eagle returned to the island. (Santa Rosa)
With the grant funds provided by the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, Friends of the Island Fox has now funded 56 island fox radio collars: 42 for the northern islands in Channel Islands National Park and 14 for the southern island of Santa Catalina.
While island foxes on Santa Rosa Island faced additional challenges this year, populations are successfully recovering on San Miguel, Santa Cruz and Santa Catalina Islands. A major part of that recovery is community involvement. Each island fox wearing a radio collar has a story and many of those stories begin with proactive people.
56 Radio Collars - Each one represents a personal donation, a community group like the Eaton Canyon Nature Center Associates, or the energy and conviction of a Fox Ambassador School.
You too can help save the endangered island fox by supporting conservation efforts and Friends of the Island Fox.