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Island Fox | California Living Museum

Animals

Island Fox

  • The island fox, a descendant of the mainland grey fox, is the largest of the Channel Islands’ native mammals, but one of the smallest canid species in the world. Island fox are distinguished by their overall smaller size, darker coloration, and shorter legs. The island fox only lives on 6 of the 8 Channel Islands off the coast of southern California and they are found nowhere else on earth.

    The island fox eats things like summer holly, cholla cactus, rose, sumac, nightshade, native deer, mice, ground-nesting birds, grasshoppers and crickets. Compared with the grey fox, island fox are relatively diurnal (active during the day). They communicate with one another through sight, sound, and smell. Visually, island fox show signs of dominance or submission through facial expressions and body posture. They communicate by barking and sometimes growling.

    Island fox mate for life and breed only once a year having 1 – 5 pups in the protection of a den.

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