Born in the protection of a den, pups are blind and helpless with short dark brown hair at birth. Populations on four of the islands were threatened to extinction in the 1990s due to human-mediated predation and disease. Project Summary. Diminished food supply and general degradation of the habitat due to introduced mammal species, including feral cats, pigs, sheep, goats, and American bison, the latter having been introduced to Catalina Island in the 1920s by a Hollywood film crew shooting a Western, also has had a negative effect on fox populations. Just 15 foxes remained on each of two neighboring islands. (Photo courtesy of Phillip Island Nature Parks) For the next 60 years, foxes were hunted opportunistically.  On September 14, 2012, the US Fish and Wildlife Service released a draft recovery plan for the San Miguel island fox, Santa Rosa island fox, Santa Cruz island fox, and the Santa Catalina island fox. The gray fox could have rafted on debris propelled by storms and/or currents. Starting In the late 1990s, the island fox population on Santa Cruz plummeted in the span of a decade by 95 percent, from 3,600 to fewer than 100 animals on all the islands combined. General Fox Island Information Pierce County where Fox Island resides is 1,806.5 square miles.  After several years of carefully trapping the foxes and vaccinating them against distemper and rabies, their population has reached 1,717 in 2015, surpassing the pre-disease population of about 1,300. It is unclear if this is a true color phase, a change that occurs with age, or possibly a change that occurs because of interactions with Opuntia cactus spines that become embedded in the pelt.  However, the pigs on Santa Cruz Island were killed by the Nature Conservancy under the idea that they drew the eagles to the foxes.. A decline in island fox populations was identified in the 1990s. , There are six subspecies of the island fox, each of which is native to a specific Channel Island, and which evolved there independently of the others. , The island fox shares the genus Urocyon with the mainland gray fox, the species from which it is descended. Island foxes are generally docile, show little fear of humans, and are easily tamed. Today there are about 1,300 foxes on Santa Cruz Island, 500 on San Miguel Island, and 600 on Santa Rosa Island, with each population having a 90 percent annual survival rate. The Australian Government has received advice that high levels of cadmium exposure has been detected in a sample of flying foxes on Christmas Island (CI). Within a few years on Santa Cruz Island, the fox population dropped from an estimated 2000 individuals to less than 100. Sexual maturity is reached at 10 months, and the females usually breed within the first year. Current island fox conservation efforts on Santa Catalina focus on (1) an intensive mark-recapture program to estimate population development, (2) translocation of radio-collared juvenile foxes from the WEST to the nearly extirpated EAST population, (3) inoculation of the entire island fox population with the experimental CDV vaccine, and (4) a captive breeding program to provide juveniles … As of 2013, the IUCN lists the entire species as near threatened, an improvement from its previous status of "critically endangered". A decline in Island Fox populations was identified in the 1990s. Typically, the head-and-body length is 48–50 cm (19–19.5 in), shoulder height 12–15 cm (4.5–6 in), and the tail is 11–29 cm (4.5–11.5 in) long, which is notably shorter than the 27–44 cm (10.5–17.5 in) tail of the gray fox. More than a third of Middle Island's famous penguin population has been wiped out in a fox attack in south-west Victoria. Today, the population has recovered within the park. In 1999, Channel Islands National Park began an island fox recovery program that included captive breeding and reintroduction of foxes, removal of resident golden eagles, re-establishment of bald eagles, and removal of non-native ungulates. Four island fox subspecies were federally protected as an endangered species in 2004, and efforts to rebuild fox populations and restore the ecosystems of the Channel Islands are being undertaken. The female island fox gives birth in a den, a typical litter having one to five pups, with an average of two or three. Additionally, a second genome of a mainland gray fox was sequenced and a 1929 island fox from the San Nicolas population, which has the most extreme low genomic diversity. The golden eagle then began to prey on the island fox population. Its rusty hues usually occur around the neck, on the chest, legs, and the underside of the tail. 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