Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Helping the Island Fox

Do you find yourself overwhelmed by the negative news about the world we live in? I know I sometimes do.

Helping to preserve diminishing rainforest in South America, saving great apes from the bushmeat crisis and even polar bears that are being threatened by global warming, can all seem distant and unsurmountable problems. We can give money, but do we personally see the difference that we have made?

I just finished writing up a website entry for Friends of the Island Fox at islandfox.org about riding along with biologist Julie King of the Catalina Island Conservancy as she did health checks on endangered island foxes. How did I get this great opportunity?

Three years ago a close friend asked me to join her on the board of a conservation organization working to save a local endangered species, the island fox. Friends of the Island Fox, Inc. works to save a local Southern California species that is found only on the Channel Islands.

In the past 2 years we have:
  • raised funds to provide 17 radio tracking collars for island foxes to be returned to the wild.
  • created school outreach programs and an Island Fox Ambassador Program that helps kids become active in saving this local endangered species.
  • we've raised awareness about this little known animal at community events in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.
  • We've created a video on island fox releases. Link to the video.
  • And we have started an Island Fox Talk podcast. Listen to the podcast.
Are we making a difference?

Yes. People are becoming aware of this native Californian and reaching out to help the island fox. Across the four islands where the island fox is endangered, population numbers are increasing. All of the land managers on the Channel Islands are seeing greater support for their efforts.

Check out the Friends of the Island Fox website.

If you are interested in getting involved and making a difference, we need volunteers to help with classroom visits and manning booths at educational events. If you have a skill that you are willing to share, let us know at islandfoxnews@gmail.com

If you know a school, class, youth or adult community group that would be interested in learning about the island fox, drop me an e-mail
at islandfoxnews@gmail.com and we will set it up.

You can make a difference and the best place to start is by helping a neighbor.

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