Catalina Island, California – Unlike what you might think, the population of Catalina Island Foxes was not nearly wiped out by humans. In fact, it was an epidemic of Canine Distemper on the tiny island chain that nearly caused the extinction of this species. Catalina Island, which lies just off the coast of Southern California was never really home to that many foxes in the first place, which made them susceptible targets for endangerment in the first place. Thanks to conservation efforts in the past 16 years, their population has grown back to its healthy range.
Catalina Island Fox Recovers From Endangered Species List Since 1999
Much of the success with the revival of the species came from a combined effort to trap and vaccinate wild animals for the Distemper, and also groups who chose to breed the animals. It is unusual for wild animals to be vaccinated in their natural habitat, but given the relative remoteness and confined spaces it seemed like the most effective way to eradicate the epidemic all together. The purpose for captive breeding was to help accelerate the reproduction of the species so that it would have the ability to grow back to a healthy size before any other mishap would come along to hinder their efforts.
Now that the island’s population of foxes has recovered, the inhabitants have been learning to cope with their presence all over again. There are many on the island now who did not live there at a time when the foxes were abundant, and therefor have not become accustomed to dealing with them. The mischievous animals have been known to dig through residents garbage bins, disturb domesticated animals, and fall victim to many mishaps. The roads around Catalina Island have begun to see their fair share of road kill now that the Catalina Island Foxes have made their triumphant return from extinction.
Catalina Island Fox Recovers From Endangered Species List Since 1999.