Thursday, March 30, 2023

Join FIF on a Trip to Santa Cruz Island

Spring is a great time to visit the Channel Islands!

Friends of the Island Fox is headed to Santa Cruz Island for the day on:

May 20th, 2023

We'll check-in at Ventura Harbor at 8:15 am 

and return around 5 pm.

The $75 (per person) registration includes: boat fare, FIF naturalist guides on the island, and a donation to support vaccinating island foxes against canine distemper virus.

4/14/23 Trip is SOLD OUT

Each trip to the islands is an adventure...


... and we never know for sure what wildlife we might see. Island foxes and island scrub-jays are typically seen where we are headed.

The dock at Scorpion Landing is new and only requires two steps on the boat to access a ramp; no more metal ladder to climb.

Reservations are taken on a first come basis. 

4/14/23 Trip is SOLD OUT

Come enjoy the islands, see island foxes, and help protect their future.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Everything You Wanted to Know About Island Fox Pups

island fox pup, courtesy of I. Rose

Across the Channel Islands, island fox parents are finding hidden-away spots for a den where females can give birth to pups. Most island fox pups are born in April.

How big are island fox pups at birth? Small - about the size and weight of two AA batteries.

What do you call baby island foxes? Pups or kits. At birth their natal fur is a cocoa brown and their ears appear small and rounded. The pup pictured was born at a zoo in 2006–at that time there was a small breeding population in a few zoos. Island fox dens are not disturbed in the wild.

When do pups emerge from the den? Typically in June. When pups come out into the world they have replaced their baby fur with a coat that looks like their parents. Island fox fur

How many pups are in a litter? Typically, 2–3 pups are born in a litter. Play between siblings is an important part of learning to hunt and interact socially. If food resources are abundant, an island fox pair can have up to 5 pups. In years of drought, few pups are born. Drought year, 2021

What sounds do pups make? LISTEN to the sounds of a young island fox pup.

What do they eat?
Like all mammals, island fox pups initially nurse milk from their mother. Gradually, they eat prey brought to them by both of their parents. The parent above is bringing 3 island deer mice back to the den. Both parents teach the pups to hunt and find plant foods. Island fox diet

Are island foxes born knowing how to hunt and find food?
No. All of the island foxes currently in captivity were pups that were separated from their parents and did not learn how to provide for themselves in the wild. Island fox pups need their parents to teach them how to hunt and find food.

Video - Island fox pup reunited with mother