Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring Is the Time for Island Fox Pups

Spring is blooming across the Channel Islands. The mountain morning glory unfurls its white flowers tinged in pink.

In protective dens across the islands, female island foxes are giving birth to their litters of pups. The green hillsides with their flowers hint that the rainfall has been good this year. If the plants are healthy they will produce abundant fruit this summer. The Catalina cherry, toyon and prickly pear cactus are all important food sources for the island fox. Island fox food. If the plants grow well, the animals that depend on them will do well too.

Last year the drought impacted island foxes. Fewer pups were born and many were underweight. This year we are hoping for healthy island fox pups. Typically island foxes have 2 pups, but if there is abundant food they can have up to 5 pups.

Representatives from Friends of the Island Fox were out on Santa Cruz Island last week. More on Santa Cruz Island. The hillsides were green and the Catalina cherry trees were covered in blooms. We’re looking for a special island fox pup to be born that will be communicating out to the world about its daily life as it grows up.

This exciting birth is just around the corner. We hope that by sharing the daily adventures of this little island fox via Twitter, people around the world will have a better understanding of the challenges the island fox faces living on an island and being an endangered species. (Link to video - island fox encounters bald eagle chick)

Are you ready to follow an island fox pup as it grows up?