Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Island Foxes on KLOS FM Radio

Hear Friends of the Island Fox on
Cynthia Fox's "Spotlight on the Community" 
on KLOS Radio, 95.5 FM!

Pat Meyer, Friends of the Island Fox Program Director, and Keri Dearborn, Education Director, will be on Cynthia Fox's Sunday morning program this weekend, May 28th from 6-7 AM. 

Link to KLOS "Spotlight on the Community PodCasts".

With community education and participation in conservation efforts we are saving the island fox.

For more information on school programs (K-college) contact Pat at or (805) 228-4123. To be added to the FIF teacher contact list for program information in the fall - email: (subject line: teacher)

Photos of island foxes
Video of island foxes
Video - island fox meets bald eagle
Fox Talk Podcasts

Monday, May 23, 2011

Island Fox Ambassadors - Canalino Elementary School

Pat Meyer and Canalino Elementary 4th grade students

What can you do with popcorn and hot chocolate?  Help save the endangered island fox!

Fourth grade students at Canalino Elementary School in Carpinteria, California have become Island Fox Ambassadors. They made posters to increase awareness about the endangered island fox and they raised funds by selling popcorn and hot chocolate at a school movie night.

The fourth grade students learned about the island fox through their teachers and a presentation by Friends of the Island Fox educators. (For information on Island Fox classroom programs call 805 228-4123 or e-mail

Working together the Canalino students raised a large enough donation to support a radio tracking collar for an island fox. Radio tracking collars are vital to monitoring island fox welfare across the Channel Islands. More on GPS collars.

The “Canalino collar” marks radio collar #65 supported by generous donations to Friends of the Island Fox. Part of the island fox’s rapid recovery from the brink of extinction is due to the partnership between scientists, conservationists and the public.

Friends of the Island Fox proudly adds the fourth grade students of Canalino Elementary School to our list of Island Fox Ambassadors.

The island fox is a California treasure and it needs devoted conservation ambassadors like these students to safeguard its survival into the future.

You can make a positive difference too, by supporting island fox conservation through the donation button at the top of the page.

To learn more about island foxes

Follow the adventures of Tani, an island fox on Twitter
@ ifoxtweet, see box to the right, or Find us on Facebook. May 24th will mark a landmark day for this island fox pup. You won’t want to miss it!

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Island Fox and the IUCN

photo courtesy of Kevin Schafer
The island fox has an important friend – the IUCN.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) was established in England in 1948 to promote scientifically based conservation efforts on behalf of wild species. The IUCN has a Red List of species around the world that are threatened and specific categories for their survival status: Extinct, Extinct in the Wild, Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable, Near Threatened, or Least Concern.

The IUCN has joined with an established fox friend to highlight “Amazing Species” on the IUCN’s Red List website. See more island fox images on

Recently the island fox was featured as one of these “Amazing Species” - IUCN RedList Amazing Species. The downloadable pdf on the island fox features a photo by another island fox friend, wildlife photographer Kevin Schafer (

island fox photos by Kevin Schafer:

The IUCN lists the island fox as critically endangered. Despite increases in population over the last three years, island foxes have a very limited range and are extremely vulnerable to habitat destruction or introduced disease.

Island species in general are highly vulnerable to extinction because they have limited natural populations and home ranges. Typically island species can not relocate in the face of environmental change. Climate change poses specific threats to island species: rising water levels, changes in temperature and rainfall, fire as a result of drought (fire on Catalina Island), heightened disease threats from insect- or virus-borne pathogens.

How can you help the island fox and other endangered species? Pass on information about these creatures and remind people that saving resources and reducing our carbon footprint helps everyone. 

Monday, May 09, 2011

Raccoon Spotted on Catalina

The Catalina Island Conservancy reports that a raccoon was spotted in the Two Harbors Campground on Catalina Island. Despite a rapid response setting up capture cages, the raccoon has not been apprehended. This raccoon poses a serious threat to island foxes and other endemic island species.

Raccoons are not native to the California Channel Islands and they are now believed to have been the source of the distemper virus that killed over 88% of the Catalina Island foxes between 1998 and 2000.
More on the threat posed by raccoons.

For information on what to do if you see a raccoon on a boat: Raccoon Awareness Flyer

If you should see the raccoon on Catalina Island please contact the Catalina Island Conservancy. For the safety of the island fox and other island species it is imperative that this raccoon is apprehended as soon as possible.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Bald Eagles and Island Foxes

Tani is learning about the bald eagles on the Channel Islands and you can too. 
photo courtesy of Peter Sharp, IWS
Bald eagles went extinct on the Channel Islands following the use of DDT in Southern California. While this chemical insecticide successfully killed insects around homes and on agricultural crops, it stayed in the environment. The chemical ingredients of DDT take many years to disappear or degrade. They were washed from fields and cities into streams, rivers and eventually the ocean. 

When small animals ate the chemicals, they were in turn eaten by larger animals. Seafloor worms were eaten by fish, and the fish were eaten by the bald eagle and the brown pelican. The chemicals accumulated in top predators like theses large birds. The DDT didn't kill the eagles directly, it caused them to be unable to lay eggs with hard shells. When the mother eagle sat on her eggs they cracked. No eaglets were born and the bald eagles disappeared completely from the Channel Islands.

Today DDT is no longer legally used in the United States. Part of the effort to return the Channel Islands to their natural state was to relocate young bald eagles to Santa Cruz and Santa Catalina Islands. These reintroduced bald eagles have grown-up. They are doing well and reproducing.

You can watch the bald eagles live as they raise their chicks through the on-line EAGLECAM

As of May 1, 2011 the chicks are small gray fluffs in the nest.  They are growing up just as the island fox pups are growing up.

Watch a video from the EAGLECAM where an island fox visits the bald eagle nest.

Follow Tani's adventures as an island fox grows up on Twitter or Facebook.