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Island gray fox

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The sizes are small. Body length 48–68 cm. Tail length 11–44 cm. Weight 2.5–7 kg. Outwardly similar to a fox, but with a shortened tail. Ears of medium height, spiky. The hairline is high and rough. Its color on the head, back, sides and tail is gray. The belly, throat and internal parts of the limbs are white. A black stripe runs in the middle of the back. Tail end black

The diploid number of chromosomes in the gray fox is 66.

Distributed in the extreme south of Ontario and Quebec in Canada, in the United States (except for some northwestern and central states), in the central and northern parts of South America and on some islands near California.

They inhabit forests, areas covered with shrubs, swamps, rocks, arid areas. Active at night. The shelter is found in caves, crevices of rocks, hollows of fallen trees, sometimes dig holes (in the northern parts of the range). They climb trees well (the only case in the family) and save them in case of danger, and sometimes climb them in search of prey. They feed on various plants, mainly fruits and seeds, as well as small animals. The food of the gray fox consists of 28.6% of plants, 20.5 - rabbits, 30.5 - small rodents, 1 shrew, 26 - birds, 2.5 - insects, 2.5% - fish (Banfield, 1974) . Monogamy. Riding a gray fox from late January to March. Pregnancy lasts approximately 63 days. Cubs are born in the spring from 2 to 7 (usually 4) in the litter. The mass of the newborn is on average 115 g. The family breaks up in late summer or early autumn, but the male and female can continue to live together. Maturity in females occurs at the age of about a year.

gray fox - U. cinereoargenteus Schreber, 1775 (extreme south of Ontario and Quebec in Canada, USA, except for the states of Washington, eastern Oregon, northern Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, northern Utah, eastern Colorado, western regions of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma and the far north of Texas, all of Central America, except the northern regions of Honduras and Nicaragua, west of Venezuela),

island fox - U. littoralis Baird, 1858 (islands located near the state of California in the USA: Santa Catalina, San Clemente, San Nicholas, San Miguel, Santa Cruz).

In evolutionary terms, the island fox is a sideline of the gray fox that separated after the gray foxes hit Channel Islands during the last ice age. Island foxes are much smaller than their ancestors, their size corresponds to the size of a domestic cat. They are a typical example of island dwarfism.

See also in other dictionaries:

island gray fox - noun Channel Island fox ... Wiktionary

gray fox - a fox, Urocyon cinereoargenteus, ranging from Central America through the southwestern and eastern U.S., having blackish gray upper parts and rusty yellowish feet, legs, and ears. 1670-80, Amer. * * * Grizzled, gray furred New World fox ... ... Universalium

Gray fox - For other uses, see Gray fox (disambiguation). Gray fox Conservation status ... Wikipedia

Gray fox - Taxobox name = Gray FoxMSW3 Wozencraft | pages = | > Wikipedia

insular gray fox - noun Channel Island fox ... Wiktionary

South american gray fox - South American gray fox Conservation status ... Wikipedia

Island fox - Island fox Conservation status ... Wikipedia

Island fox - Taxobox name = Island FoxMSW3 Wozencraft | pages = | > Wikipedia

island fox - noun A species of fox (Urocyon littoralis), endemic to the Channel Islands of California. Syn: California Channel Island fox, Channel Island fox, Channel Island gray fox, coast fox, insular gray fox, island gray fox ... Wiktionary

Fox Islands (Michigan) - This article is about the islands in Lake Michigan. For the small island in the Detroit River, see Fox Island (Detroit River). Fox Islands ... Wikipedia

Fox - Taxobox name = Fox image caption = Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata> Wikipedia

Island tube-nosed fruit bat - Conservation status Least Concern (IUCN 2.3) Scientific> Wikipedia

Fox's shrew - Conservation status Least Concern (IUCN 3.1) Scientific> Wikipedia

Fox's shaggy rat - Conservation status Vulnerable (IUCN 3.1) Scientific> Wikipedia

Fox sparrow - Taxobox name = Fox Sparrow status = LC status system = iucn3.1 status ref = IUCN2007 | assessors = BirdLife International | year = 2004 | > Wikipedia

Gray wolf - Taxobox name = Gray Wolf fossil range = Late Pleistocene Recent status = LC status system = iucn3.1 trend = stable status ref = IUCN2006 | assessors = Mech Boitani | year = 2004 | > Wikipedia

Island fox

In evolutionary terms, the island fox is a sideline of the gray fox that separated after the gray foxes hit Channel Islands during the last ice age. Island foxes are much smaller than their ancestors, their size corresponds to the size of a domestic cat. They are a typical example of island dwarfism.

Because the island fox is geographically isolated, it has no immunity to parasites and diseases brought in from the mainland and is especially vulnerable to those the domestic dog may carry.

Only 6 subspecies, each on "their" island:

Urocyon littoralis littoralis of San Miguel Island,
Urocyon littoralis santarosae of Santa Rosa Island,
Urocyon littoralis santacruzae of Santa Cruz Island,
Urocyon littoralis dickeyi of San Nicolas Island,
Urocyon littoralis catalinae of Santa Catalina and,
Urocyon littoralis clementae of San Clemente Island.

Foxes from each island are capable of interbreeding, but have genetic and phenotypic distinctions that make them unique, for example, the subspecies have differing numbers of tail vertebrae.

The island fox is significantly smaller than the gray fox and perhaps the smallest fox in North America, averaging slightly smaller than the swift and kit foxes. Typically the head-and-body length is 48–50 cm (18–20 in.), Shoulder height 12–15 cm (4–6 in.), And the tail is 11–29 cm (4–11 in.) long, which is notably shorter than the 27–44 cm (10–17 in.) tail of the gray fox. This is due to the fact that the island fox generally has two fewer tail vertebrae than the gray fox. The island fox weighs between 1 and 2.8 kg (2.2 and 6.2 lb). The male is always larger than the female. The largest of the subspecies occurs on Santa Catalina Island and the smallest on Santa Cruz Island.
The island fox has gray fur on its head, a ruddy red coloring on its sides, white fur on its belly, throat and the lower half of its face, and a black stripe on the dorsal surface of its tail. In general the coat is darker and duller hued than that of the gray fox. The island fox molts once a year between August and November. Before the first molt pups are woolly and have a generally darker coat than adult foxes.

The island fox typically forms monogamous breeding pairs which are frequently seen together beginning in January and through the breeding season, from late February to early March. The gestation period is 50–63 days. The female island fox gives birth in a den, a typical litter having one to five pups, with an average of two or three. Pups are born in the spring and emerge from the den in early summer, the mother lactates for 7–9 weeks. Sexual maturity is reached at 10 months, and the females usually breed within the first year. Island foxes live for 4-6 years in the wild and for up to 8 years in captivity.

Its preferred habitat is complex layer vegetation with a high density of woody, perennially fruiting shrubs. The fox lives in all of the island biomes including temperate forest, temperate grassland and chaparral, with no island supporting more than 1,000 foxes. The island fox eats fruits, insects, birds, eggs, crabs, lizards, and small mammals, including deer mice. The fox tends to move around by itself, rather than in packs. It is generally nocturnal, albeit with peaks of activity at dawn and dusk. Activity also fluctuates with the season, it is more active during the day in summer than it is in winter.

The island fox is not intimidated by humans, although at first may show aggression. It is quite easy to tame and is generally docile. The island fox communicates using auditory, olfactory and visual signals. A dominant fox uses vocalizations, staring, and ear flattening to cause another fox to submit. Signs of dominance and submission are visual, such as facial expression and body posture. Its main vocalizations are barking and growling. The island fox marks territory with urine and feces.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Island fox
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Family:Canidae
Genus:Urocyon
Species:U. littoralis
Binomial name
Urocyon littoralis
(Baird, 1857)
Range map

The Island fox (Urocyon littoralis) is a small fox that is native to six of the eight Channel Islands of California. There are six subspecies of the fox, each unique to the island it lives on, reflecting its evolutionary history. Other names for the Island Fox include Coast fox, Short-tailed fox, Island gray fox, Channel islands fox, Channel islands gray fox, California Channel Island Fox and Insular gray fox.

Taxonomy and evolution

The island fox shares the Urocyon genus with the mainland Gray Fox, the species from which it is descended. Its small size is a result of insular dwarfism, a kind of allopatric speciation. Because the Island Fox is geographically and isolated, it has no immunity to parasites and diseases brought in from the mainland and is especially vulnerable to those the Domestic Dog may carry. In addition, predation by the Golden Eagle and human activities devastated fox numbers on several of the Channel Islands in the 1990s. 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 adopted. radio collars are being attached to foxes in an effort to track and locate the young foxes

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 subspecies are:

  • Urocyon littoralis littoralis of San Miguel Island,
  • Urocyon littoralis santarosae of Santa Rosa Island,
  • Urocyon littoralis santacruzae of Santa Cruz Island,
  • Urocyon littoralis dickeyi of San Nicolas Island,
  • Urocyon littoralis catalinae of santa catalina and
  • Urocyon littoralis clementae of San Clemente Island.

Foxes from each island are capable of interbreeding, but have genetic and phenotypic distinctions that make them unique, for example, the subspecies have differing numbers of tail vertebrae.

The small size of the Island Fox is an adaptation to the limited resources available in the island environment. The foxes are believed to have "rafted" to the northern islands between 10,400 and 16,000 years ago. Initially, fox populations were located on the three northern islands, which were likely easier to access during the last ice age — when lowered sea levels united four of the northernmost islands into a single mega-island (Santa Rosae) and the distance between the islands and the mainland was reduced — it is likely that Native Americans brought the foxes to the southern islands of the archipelago, perhaps as pets or hunting dogs.

Based on the limited fossil record and genetic distance from its Gray Fox ancestors, the northern Island Fox subspecies are probably the older subspecies, while the San Clemente Island Fox has been only res> The fox did not persist on Anacapa Island because it has no reliable source of fresh water, Santa Barbara Island is too small to support the food demands of the fox.

Description

The Island Fox is significantly smaller than the Gray Fox, and even slightly smaller than a domestic House Cat, and is the second smallest of all foxes after the Fennec Fox. citation needed Typically the head-and-body length is 48–50 cm (18–20 in.), Shoulder height 12–15 cm (4–6 in.), And the tail is 11–29 cm (4–11 in.) long, which is notably shorter than the 27–44 cm (10–17 in.) tail of the Gray Fox. The Island Fox weighs between 1.3 and 2.8 kg (2.8–6.2 lb.). The male is always larger than the female. The largest of the subspecies occurs on Santa Catalina Island and the smallest on Santa Cruz Island.

The Island Fox has gray fur on its head, a ruddy red coloring on its s> In general the coat is darker and duller hued than that of the Gray Fox. The Island Fox molts once a year between August and November. Before the first molt pups are woolly and have a generally darker coat than adult foxes.

Reproduction

The Island Fox typically forms monogamous breeding pairs which are frequently seen together beginning in January and through the breeding season, from late February to early March. The gestation period is 50–63 days. The Island Fox gives birth in a den, a typical litter having one to five kits, with an average of two or three. Kits are born in the spring and emerge from the den in early summer, the mother lactates for 7–9 weeks. Sexual maturity is reached at 10 months, and the females usually breed within the first year. Island Foxes live for 4–6 years in the wild and for up to 8 years in captivity.

Ecology and behavior

Its preferred habitat is complex layer vegetation with a high density of woody, perennially fruiting shrubs. The fox lives in all of the island biomes including temperate forest, temperate grassland and chaparral, with no island supporting more than 1,000 foxes. The Island Fox eats fruits, insects, birds, eggs, crabs, lizards, and small mammals, including deer mice. The fox tends to move around by itself, rather than in packs. It is generally nocturnal, albeit with peaks of activity at dawn and dusk. Activity also fluctuates with the season, it is more active during the day in summer than it is in winter.

The Island Fox is not intim> The Island Fox communicates using auditory, olfactory and visual signals. A dominant fox uses vocalizations, staring, and ear flattening to cause another fox to submit. The Island Fox marks territory with urine and feces.

Conservation status

A decline in Island Fox populations was> Golden Eagle predation, discovered when foxes were radio-collared and monitored, proved to be the cause of the high mortality rates.

Golden Eagle predation is the primary cause of Island Fox mortality. The Golden Eagle was an uncommon visitor to the Channel Islands before the 1990s according to data gathered by Dr. Lyndal Laughrin of the University of California Santa Cruz Island Reserve, and the first Golden Eagle nest was recorded on Santa Cruz Island in 1999. Biologists propose that the eagle may have been attracted to the islands in the 1960s after the decline of the Bald Eagle. The Golden Eagle replaced the Bald Eagle and began to feed on feral pigs due to the decimation of the local Bald Eagle population due to DDT exposure in the 1950s — the Bald Eagle would have deterred the Golden Eagle from settling on the islands while it subsisted on fish.

The feral pigs on Santa Rosa were exterminated by the National Park Service in the early 1990s which removed one of the Golden Eagle's food sources. The Golden Eagle then began to prey on the Island Fox population. Feral pigs on Santa Cruz Island and introduced deer and Elk on Santa Rosa Island were introduced almost seventy years prior to island fox decline, therefore, the Golden Eagle most likely d> This has occurred most likely as a result of a process known as' apparent competition '. In this process, a predator, like the Golden Eagle, feeds on at least two prey, for example, the Island Fox and feral pigs. One prey item is adapted to high predation pressure and supports the predator population (i.e. pigs), whereas the other prey item (i.e. the Island Fox) is poorly adapted to predation and declines as a consequence of the predation pressure. It has also been proposed that complete removal of Golden Eagle may be the only action that could save three subspecies of the Island Fox from extinction.

Introduced diseases or parasites can devastate Island Fox populations. Because the Island Fox is isolated, it has no immunity to parasites and diseases brought in from the mainland and are especially vulnerable to those the Domestic Dog may carry. A canine distemper outbreak in 1998 killed approximately 90% of Santa Catalina Island's fox population. (It is difficult to vaccinate against or treat foxes for parasites and disease in the wild.)

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, citation needed also has had a negative effect on fox populations.

The foxes threaten a population of the severely endangered Loggerhead Shrike in res> With the gradual recovery of the shrike population on San Clemente Island, the Navy no longer controls the foxes. Automobile fatalities have also been high on San Clemente, San Nicolas, and Santa Catalina Islands.

Federal protection

In March 2004, four subspecies of the Island Fox were> The IUCN lists the entire species as critically endangered.

The National Parks Service has initiated captive fox breeding programs on San Miguel, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands, successfully increasing the numbers of res> The Catalina Island Conservancy also runs a captive breeding program on Catalina Island, in 2002, there were 17 foxes in captive breeding programs and at least 161 wild foxes.

A key to the recovery of the Island Fox is the removal of the Golden Eagle from the Channel Islands, ecosystem restoration and disease control. To ensure survival of the Island Fox, Golden Eagles are being moved from the northern islands to the mainland. Maintaining and increasing the Bald Eagle population on the islands would help to displace the Golden Eagle. However, the program is extremely resource-intensive and is at risk for cancellation. Removal of feral pigs from Catalina Island and Santa Cruz Island is underway, removing both the golden eagles food and competition for the Island Fox. To eliminate the risk of disease, pets are not permitted in Channel Islands National Park. A vaccination program has been initiated to protect Catalina Island foxes from canine distemper.

Because the Channel Islands are almost entirely owned and controlled by either the Catalina Island Conservancy or the federal government, the fox has a chance to receive the protection it needs, including constant supervision by interested officials without the ongoing threat of human encroachment on its habitat.

According to the Nature conservancy summer 2009 magazine, the Santa Cruz Island fox population has rebounded to a population of 700 from being fewer than 100.

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