Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Island Fox Population Update

courtesy of Anita Machlis
Every year biologists count island foxes across the California Channel Islands in the late summer and early fall. Island foxes are captured in safe traps so they can be given health checks, fitted with radio collars and given vaccinations. When the biologist from the six different islands meet for the annual Island Fox Conference in June, they share their official population numbers and discuss the successes and challenges from each island.

The official population estimates from 2010 are:
  • San Miguel Island - 516
  • Santa Rosa Island - 292
  • Santa Cruz Island - 1302
  • Santa Catalina Island - 1008
  • San Nicolas Island - ~500
  • San Clemente Island - 1127

The numbers show that island fox recovery has been very robust on San Miguel, Santa Cruz and Santa Catalina Islands. The island foxes on Santa Rosa Island are recovering, but at a much slower rate. Each island fox population has its own challenges. For the current status of island foxes by island Download - Island Fox Update 2011 pdf

Stay tuned for updates on 2011 population numbers as they come in from the autumn field counts.