Friday, May 10, 2019

This Island Fox Pup Needs You!

Across the Channel Islands, winter rains have renewed the native island plants and increased food resources for island foxes. 

2019 should be a good year for island fox pups!


Most island foxes are born in April. For the first several months of their lives, they depend on their mother for milk. Both parents will then bring food to the youngsters back at the den. Pups, generally, emerge in June and over the summer their parents teach them how to hunt and find native fruit. Healthy island fox parents have a head start in raising healthy pups.

You can help keep island foxes healthy and safe. 

This year the need for radio-tracking collars is greater than ever.

On each island 50–60 island foxes wear radio-tracking collars. Each year 30% to 50% of the collars need to be replaced or refurbished.

 

In 2019, Friends of the Island Fox is trying to fund:
island fox is vaccinated during health check
These radio collars will be assigned to island foxes this summer and fall during annual counting and health checks. A radio-tracking collar monitors an island fox's movements and signals to biologists when an island fox has died. Radio-tracking collars provide the first alert that disease, parasites, or unexpected predators have killed an island fox.

The sooner biologists can respond to a new threat, the more island foxes can be protected.

Friends of the Island Fox is also helping to fund important investigations into new health threats facing island foxes:
photo courtesy of Inge Rose
Foxes need your help with science-based solutions.
  • $25 tests a tick sample for 5 diseases
  • $50 checks two blood samples
  • $100 analyzes diet from 10 whisker samples
  • $220 refurbishes a used radio collar
  • $350 funds a new radio collar
Island foxes need all of us to help assure the pups of 2019 grow up in a healthy island fox community.

Please DONATE today

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Fox Foto Friday - Urocyon littoralis

The island fox's scientific name is Urocyon littoralis which means "tailed dog of the seashore." 


Though the fox's tail isn't all that visible, this photo gives a true sense of the fox in it's seashore habitat. (More on each island habitat.) This image was taken by an automated wildlife camera on Santa Rosa Island during the early days of island fox recovery. Feeding stations were set-up for foxes with supplemental food until they eased back into finding their own natural diet.

island foxes in captive breeding 2000-2008
After the Santa Rosa Island fox population declined from approximately 1,800 animals to only 15 surviving individuals, their future was questionable. Island foxes born at a captive breeding facility on the island were gradually released into the wild from 2003–2008. Why did island foxes become endangered?

Today island foxes on Santa Rosa Island have recovered to pre-crisis numbers and Friends of the Island Fox supports island fox health investigations, research, and radio-tracking collars used to monitor the population. In 2019 wildlife cameras are being used in the field again to investigate relationships between island foxes and islands spotted skunks.