Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Restoring native Habitat for Island Foxes Part 2

What are these families doing on Santa Cruz Island?

They were part of a second trip underwritten by LUSH Cosmetics that brought Friends of the Island Fox together with Channel Islands Restoration to remove invasive oyster plant (Tragopogon) from the Channel Island fox's habitat. Our June crew consisted of families, teachers, and inspired individuals. 

We split into two groups. The main group headed up onto the hillside to cut the seed heads off this invasive plant to stop its reseeding in the fall.

The smaller group continued our work in Scorpion Canyon. 

Did we make a difference? The oyster plant was looking drier in June than it had in May but it was still producing seed heads. The dry dark stalks are the oyster plant. 

This is before.

This is after we removed the seed heads and cut down the stalks. 

It was a job well done. We removed bags of oyster plant seed heads.

Invasive plants reduce the success of native plants that provide food and shelter for island animals. An added benefit - seeing island foxes.

Thank you to our photographers: Keri Dearborn, Jessica Martin, and Bonnie Ferron.