2019 was a good year for wildlife, including island foxes. On the mainland, raccoon, striped skunk, and gray fox populations have all increased. (The gray fox is the ancestor of the island fox.) State wildlife agencies are also seeing an increase of canine distemper virus (CDV) among these species. Distemper is the dog equivalent of measles–it impacts the neurological and respiratory system, is highly contagious, and can be deadly to pet dogs and wild animals.
The collapse of the Santa Catalina Island fox population in 1998 was caused by a wild raccoon carrying CDV that was transported to the island. The introduction of distemper from this one raccoon nearly wiped out the Catalina Island fox.
|island fox being vaccinated|
|island fox with a radio-tracking collar|
The USFWS and Friends of the Island Fox urge you to
protect your pets, wildlife, and the island fox.
Vaccinate your pets against the canine distemper virus (CDV).