PROTECTION STATUS: Endangered
YEAR LISTED: 2004
CRITICAL HABITAT: None
RECOVERY PLAN: None
RANGE: The Channel Islands off the southern California coast
THREATS: Predation by invasive golden eagles, canine distemper transmitted by domestic dogs, habitat fragmentation due to development, and habitat degradation due to introduced livestock and nonnative game species
POPULATION TREND: The island fox declined catastrophically from the mid-1990s to the end of the century, but due to captive breeding, relocation of golden eagles, and reintroduction of bald eagles, the populations of its subspecies have since grown. The San Miguel island population went from 450 in 1994 to 15 in 1999, growing to 40 wild and 26 captive foxes by 2005; Santa Cruz Island foxes declined from 1,465 in 1994 to 60 in 2001, but had become 150 wild and 62 captive foxes by 2005; the Santa Rosa Island population declined from 1,780 in 1994 to 14 in 1999, with numbers rising to 32 wild and 34 captive foxes by 2005. Though the population of the Santa Catalina Island fox has been studied only intermittently, sightings had dramatically declined by the summer of 1999; the subspecies’ population has increased since its 2004 listing. By 2016, populations had recovered to the point that the Service proposed to remove San Miguel island fox, Santa Rosa island fox and Santa Cruz island fox from the endangered list, and to downlist the Santa Catalina island fox from "endangered" to "threatened."