Island Fox

Urocyon littoralis

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In this episode, reporter Molly Samuel journeys to Santa Cruz Island, off the coast of California, to look into the mystery of the island’s tiny foxes, descendants of gray foxes who rafted over from the mainland more than ten thousand years ago and branched off to form a new, smaller species. Despite weighing a mere three pounds, these diminutive grey foxes thrived and for millennia they reigned as the island’s top predator. But twenty years ago, their numbers began to plummet, from three thousand in the early 1990s to fewer than one hundred by 2000. Samuel tells how conservationists solved the puzzle of the vanishing foxes and helped them stage a comeback.

Podcast transcript

Photo Credit: U.S. National Park Service

Harvard MCZThe One Species at a Time podcast series is supported by the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology.

 

 

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