Monday, August 15, 2016

Endangered no more: California's island foxes make a surprising rebound

Three subspecies of California’s Channel Island fox will live to populate their island homes after extensive conservation efforts by the US government.  The Channel fox population on four islands – Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Catalina – declined dramatically in the 1990s, about a century after settlers first brought pigs to the islands: a move that attracted golden eagles, who found the foxes tasty, as well. Thanks to sustained efforts, from breeding foxes in captivity to removing natural predators, three of the fox's subspecies were removed from the federal list of endangered species, which the Department of the Interior calls the fastest-ever rescue.  Today, there are around 700 foxes on San Miguel Island, which had just 15 in 2004. Santa Rosa now has a population of about 1,200, and Santa Cruz about 2,100...more

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