Friends of the Island Fox is thrilled to welcome Lara Brenner to its Board of Directors.
Lara is a wildlife biologist and scientific writer who has been working with island foxes on Santa Catalina and Santa Cruz Island since 2017. She has a degree in Environmental Studies from Carleton College and a Master of Science in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana.
She brings the unique experience of working with island foxes in the field.
Lara says: Compared to most mesocarnivores, island foxes are a joy to work with. Their relative docility takes a lot of the uncertainty out of catching and handling them, while their curiosity and fearlessness inspire some truly cheeky behaviors (like trying to steal a bag of bait right out of your hand!).
First-time observers are often amazed to see an island fox sitting calmly on a biologist's lap with few restraints, and I've often heard the comment that they must know we're trying to help them.
I think it's more an artifact of evolution - after around 10,000 years as the apex land predator, they have no concept that they could be in any danger from a larger mammal! Of course, island foxes are still wild animals and it doesn't pay to let your guard down. I wouldn't want to reach into a cage without my trusty leather gloves - a bite from an island fox is no joke!
FIF Welcomes Lara Brenner.
[What's a mesocarnivore? A medium-sized carnivore. (Think raccoon, bobcat, gray fox or feral cat.) Most medium-sized predators have to be feisty in order to catch their prey and also defend themselves from larger predators.]