Friday, April 05, 2019

Fox Foto Friday - Foxes and Spotted Skunks

How can we enter the world of the island fox and the other animals that live on the Channel Islands without disturbing their natural behavior? One way is with strategically placed movement-activated cameras.

Researchers found an area with evidence of island fox activity. Evidence like tracks and scat. They positioned the special camera and left it to document the animals that walked past. Not only was an island fox using this area of Santa Rosa Island, so were the two spotted skunks, pictured below. Both were using the area at night.

Notice that the dates on the two images are months apart. Still, images like these are helping to provide information to better understand the interactions between species and the species themselves. Island spotted skunks are considered solitary creatures, yet the image captured two together. The biologists titled this image a "rumble." What brought these two skunks together? Territorial dispute? Mating season? There is so much to learn about the lives of island foxes and their neighbors.