Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Friends of the Island Fox Funds Radio Collar #56

August 2010 brings exciting news and support for the island fox.
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.

Monday, August 16, 2010

An Island Fox Meets A Bald Eagle

The Institute for Wildlife Studies' EagleCams watch the bald eagle nests on Santa Cruz and Santa Catalina Islands off the coast of California. Not only do they document eagles nesting and rearing their young, sometimes they also get a candid shot of how animals on the islands interact.

This short video from Santa Cruz shows a bald eagle chick almost ready to fly (large and dark brown in the center). Notice its wing numbers placed by biologists tracking its growth and life. But the video also shows an unexpected visitor to the nest. Watch closely in the lower right hand corner and you will see an island fox climb up into the eagle nest.

Island foxes and bald eagles have interconnected lives. Bald Eagle and the Island Fox.

Because bald eagles on the Channel Islands find most of their food in the ocean or along the shore, pollution in the marine ecosystem can have a negative effect on their survival.

Your actions can have an important direct effect on the survival of the endangered island fox. When you visit any of the six Channel Islands where island foxes live there are specific steps you can take to Keep Island Foxes Safe.

Even if you can't make the journey to the Channel Islands, you can help in beach clean up to keep the marine ecosystem safe for bald eagles and to pick up debris that can be life threatening to island foxes (Island Fox and the Fishing Hook).

Join Friends of the Island Fox as we pitch in with the Channel Island Park Foundation to clean-up local beaches as part of the 26th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day on September 25. Volunteers will meet at the Channel Island National Park Visitor Center at 9 AM. For More Information.