Why so many smiling faces?
Nineteen refurbished radio-tracking collars and two new ones provided by Friends of the Island Fox are being deployed onto Catalina Island foxes, right now.Why the bands of color?Catalina Island Conservancy biologist Emily Hamblen explains that the color-coding is individual to each collared fox. Especially on Catalina Island, this adds an additional way to collect information on individual animals. "When visitors report that they have seen a fox with a specific color combination," Hamblen says, "...it helps us keep track of foxes between telemetry shifts."
This fall on Catalina Island, four new faces are working with Hamblen: (Above, from left to right) Makenzie Henk (Conservancy wildlife biologist), wildlife interns Ava Johnson and Jenna Hatfield, and Ricky Robbins (wildlife technician). Hamblen says: "This year, the fox interns helped us prepare the collars by adding the colored tape, checking to ensure the frequencies were correct, and punching holes in the leather of the collars so that we can place them on foxes more quickly in the field."The Catalina team is into its third week of counting island foxes and placing radio collars. "We have placed 11 collars so far," Hamblen reports, "and plan on placing the rest over the next 4 weeks!"
She added, "I was reflecting on how important the contributions of FIF have been to the success of this year's fox program."
In 2021, your donations provided the following for island foxes on Catalina:
- 350 canine distemper virus and rabies vaccinations
- studying disease antibodies in 80 individuals
- refurbishing 19 radio collars (including 10 funded by a grant from the Fresno Chaffee Zoo Wildlife Conservation Fund)
- 2 new radio collars
Which radio collar on the table, did you help fund?