Monday, September 29, 2014
Creature Feature #345: Island Fox
The Island Fox is closely related to the gray fox. Due to isolation, he has evolved into a new species - and several subspecies - on the Californian Channel islands. Smaller in size than his mainland counterpart, he is also more vulnerable to diseases, parasites and predation. The six subspecies all evolved independently of one another, but can interbreed. It is thought that the ancestors "rafted" across from the mainland 10,000 to 16,000 years ago. Island Foxes follow an omnivorous diet of rodents, fruits, insects, birds and eggs. Due to the small nature of their habitat and the limited resources, no population numbers greater than 1000.