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August 2002

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Outfoxed by Aliens

While hunting for wild baby pigs in southern California’s Channel Islands National Park, golden eagles have added foxes to their menu. Smaller than most house cats, the tiny foxes are easy prey. The carcass of the last known wild fox on San Miguel was found last March. Approximately 60 remain on Santa Cruz. The situation has become so serious that park staff are rounding up the foxes and keeping them in a captive-breeding facility until they can rid the island of pigs. They’re also relocating golden eagles to the mainland and reintroducing bald eagles, which don’t eat foxes. The pigs, whose ancestors escaped from farms decades ago, are being fenced in and hunted down.

Web Links

California’s Threatened and Endangered Species
Learn about the island fox and why it’s threatened.

Channel Islands National Park
Discover all this park has to offer: 10,000 years of history, native flora and fauna, and beautiful scenery.

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Graham, Chuck. “The Mini Gray Fox,” Wildlife Conservation (November 12, 1999), 16.

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