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Saving the Island Fox

How did a team of conservationists, veterinarians, and volunteers help a rare species of fox come back from the brink of extinction? And why did this little fox almost go extinct in the first place?

This is the story of the island fox, a small creature that’s endemic to California’s Channel Islands—and nowhere else. When an insecticide called DDT damaged the islands’ bald eagle populations via the fish they ate, golden eagles moved in. Golden eagles liked eating small foxes… and little pigs, which had grown abundant after they were left wild on the island by farmers in the 1850s. The pigs were in competition with island foxes for land, and by 2004, the fox populations were officially declared endangered.

This episode of NPR Skunkbear tells the story of a problem solving team, including The Nature Conservancy‘s Lotus Vermeer and the National Park Service‘s Tim Coonan, who worked for years to save the island fox… and succeeded.

Follow this video with Fabulous Food Chains and Home Sweet Habitat & Food Webs. Plus: These curious but destructive arctic fox kits and how the Earth’s magnetic field helps foxes target mice in the snow.

Bonus: How beavers shaped North America, Save the Salamanders, Unsung Heroes of the Forest, and The Kakapo: the world’s only flightless parrot is a very rare bird.

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