By Timothy J. Coonan
Local basically to the California Channel Islands, the island fox is the smallest canid in North the US. Populations on 4 of the islands have been threatened to extinction within the Nineteen Nineties as a result of human-mediated predation and ailment. this can be the 1st account of the ordinary background and ecology of the island fox, illustrating either the vulnerability of island ecosystems and the efficacy of cooperative conservation measures. It explains intimately the serious conservation activities required to get well fox populations, comparable to captive breeding and reintroduction, and large-scale surroundings manipulation. those activities have been winning due largely to outstanding collaboration one of the scientists, managers and public advocates considering the restoration attempt. The publication additionally examines the position of a few points of island fox biology, attribute of the 'island syndrome', in facilitating their restoration, together with excessive productiveness and an obvious model to periodic genetic bottlenecks.
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Extra resources for Decline and Recovery of the Island Fox: A Case Study for Population Recovery (Ecology, Biodiversity and Conservation)
2002, Schauster et al. 2002b, Kamler et al. 2003). Many animals have higher population densities on islands than they do in mainland habitats, largely because reduced opportunities for dispersal favor (or lead to) individuals with a high tolerance of conspecifics (Adler and Levins 1994). This has been noted previously for island foxes (Moore and Collins 1995, Roemer 1999) as well as for insular Arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus semenovi; Goltsman et al. 2005). 1 Climate and weather Island fox populations have fluctuated over time, and are influenced primarily by climate, disease, and density-dependence (Clifford et al.
Dispersal distances for juvenile island foxes leaving natal territories are not well known, because it is difficult to discern whether observed movements represent true dispersal or some other behavior such as foraging or territorial defense (Clobert et al. 2001). It appears that when populations are at normal to high densities, young (non-reproductive) foxes disperse only short distances or stay within their natal range. Roemer et al. 6 km. On San Nicolas, where densities are greater than on other islands, a high percentage of pups remained philopatric to the place they were initially trapped; of 113 foxes first captured as pups between 2000 and 2003, 44% of the females and 71% of the males were recaptured on the same grid in subsequent years (Garcelon and Schmidt 2005).
4 Roemer et al. 9 Roemer et al. 1994 Roemer et al. 1994 San Clemente: 2004 Maritime Dune 2004 Maritime Scrub 2004 Grassland Santa Catalina: 1990 Coastal Scrub/ woodland 1990 Chaparral/woodland 1990 Coastal Scrub 1 Open = Population estimate determined using open models (Pollock’s Robust Design) in program MARK; Closed = Population estimate determined using closed models in program CAPTURE. 350–450 on San Miguel Island (the smallest island) to 1,500–2,000 on the larger islands of Santa Catalina and Santa Cruz (Roemer et al.