Island Fox

©Tim Hauf,
Island Fox. ©Tim Hauf,

Quick Facts
Type: Mammal

Diet: Omnivore: Insects, birds, mice, berries

Average lifespan: Up to 15 years

Average size: 12–13 in. in height

Average weight: 4–5 lb. (females are smaller than males)

Did You Know?
Each island with a fox population has its own subspecies of fox, distinguished by physical and genetic differences. The San Miguel Island fox, for example, has a shorter tail and a longer nose than the Santa Cruz Island fox.

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Island Fox

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19 minutes, 32 seconds

Close to the mainland yet worlds apart, Santa Cruz Island is home to plants and animals that are found nowhere else on Earth. The introduction of of non-native, exotic plants and animals have caused the loss of some of these rare species and pushed many others, including the island fox, to the brink of extinction. In order to save these island species, as well as protect sacred Chumash Native American cultural sites, the National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy embarked upon a multi-year program to help restore balance to Santa Cruz Island’s naturally functioning ecosystems. This high-definition video documents the various aspects of this complex restoration program, including the removal of golden eagles, reintroduction of bald eagles, captive breeding island foxes, removal of sheep, and eradication of pigs. The Santa Cruz Island restoration program is part of the National Park Service mission, as mandated by Congress, to preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.

Last updated: November 9, 2018