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Back from the Brink—Island Fox Populations Recovering

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Date: April 5, 2013
Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725

At the April From Shore to Sea lecture National Park Service biologist Tim Coonan will tell a compelling story of a decade's effort to save the endangered Channel Islands fox from extinction.

In the 1990s the island fox population plummeted with over a 95% decline. By the year 2000 four of the six subspecies were nearing extinction with fox populations on San Miguel and Santa Rosa Islands left with only 15 individual animals each.

Coonan will describe how the island fox subspecies are now at or approaching recovery, thanks to aggressive actions such as captive breeding, vaccinations, relocation of golden eagles, and larger ecosystem recovery actions. He will also update the status of each of the fox subspecies, and discuss the vigilance required to guarantee a future for this charismatic species.

Coonan, a wildlife biologist for Channel Islands National Park, has studied island foxes for over 20 years and has led the park's recovery program for island foxes since 1999. Previously he worked as a biologist at Death Valley National Park, where he studied bighorn sheep and desert pupfish. He completed his Bachelors of Science at the University of Notre Dame and Masters degrees at Northern Arizona University. In 2010, Coonan co-authored a book on the decline and recovery of the island fox.

This presentation will be held on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm. The From Shore to Sea lecture series is sponsored by Channel Islands National Park to further the understanding of current research on the Channel Islands and surrounding waters. The lectures occur on the second Wednesday of March, April, May, September, October, and November at the Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center, 1901 Spinnaker Drive in the Ventura Harbor. The programs are free and open to the public.

Did You Know?

Santa Barbara Island live-forever                 timhaufphotography.com

The Channel Islands are often called the "North American Galapagos" because they are home to over 150 endemic or unique species.