At the Island Fox Working Group Meeting in May, FIF provided $4,500 to support testing for disease antibodies on Catalina Island during 2022 island fox health checks.
This effort spots viruses introduced to the island. If a fox comes in contact with a virus, its immune system will develop antibodies to try and fight off the disease.
This is similar to how COVID-19 is tracked in humans.
We know this effort is important because FIF funding in 2021 helped biologists on Catalina Island discover that antibodies for Adenovirus (dog flu) were present in 80% of Catalina Island foxes. This is a steep increase from 2020.
While no island foxes are believed to have died from Adenovirus, this rapid increase reminded everyone of how canine distemper virus would spread if it reoccurred on the island and foxes were not vaccinated.
A blood sample might not seem as exciting as a radio collar, but both are important to island fox survival. This effort was funded by donors like you and a one-time grant from the Fresno Chaffee Zoo Wildlife Conservation Fund.
Your donations help protect island foxes from disease.