Island fox

“Urocyon littoralis” by Pacific Southwest USFWS licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Common Name: Island Fox

Scientific Name: Urocyon littoralis

Conservation Status: Near Threatened (Coonan, et al., 2013).

Habitat: Generalist; beaches, sand dunes, bluffs, grasslands, sage scrub, cactus scrub, chaparral, oak woodlands, riparian woodlands, pine forests, marshes, and developed areas (Coonan, et al., 2013).

Range: Endemic to the six largest of the California Channel Islands located off the coast of southern California, USA (Santa Catalina, San Clemente, San Nicholas, San Miguel, Santa Cruz, and Santa Rosa). Each of these islands hosts a distinct subspecies (Coonan, et al., 2013).

Diet: Omnivore; primarily insects and fruits (manzanita, toyon, saltbush, prickly pear cactus, ice plant, and the fruits of sea-figs), but they also feed on deer mice, birds, reptiles, amphibians, land snails, and human refuse (Liu, 2002).

Threats: Threatened by the predation and disease introduction via non-native species, because this species has naturally low population levels and low levels of genetic variability they are subject to struggle in the face of environmental changes  (Coonan, et al., 2013).