Playing with Channel Island Foxes!

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Oh my! Somedays are just OH my days. I have seen about five foxes in my life, in Alaska, Canada, Wyoming and The Holler. I was on Santa Cruz Island before and saw the Channel Island foxes, a very unusual species that live only on the Channel Islands, no where else in the world, but I wasn’t really taking photos then. So back I went to see them again and try and get their photos. We hiked all over stunning Santa Cruz Island, and I firmly believe that since I was seeking, I didn’t find. It was an hour until the boat left and I had already been waiting in the place I had seen them before for about an hour. Silent, still, waiting. When, at last, the first fox came out. She scuttled along this open but submerged ditch that I am guessing she built that led from her den. She was surreptitious at first, but quickly got braver.
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This is the second fox. This one was bigger and I assume (with no knowledge to back me up that this was a male).
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The friendly first one again.
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This is the third smaller one. She (or he) got very close as long as I didn’t move a titch.
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I have so many more photos of this unique species. They are 1/3 smaller than the North American Grey fox. Channel Island foxes live on 6 of the 8 Channel Islands. Each island has a separate endemic fox species.
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Current thinking seems to be that these island foxes rafted over during the last ice age about 10,000- 16,000 years ago.
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They are very protected here. I am speechless. They are remarkbale.
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I forget to mention. Santa Cruz Island is ethereal.
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Cheers to you from the rare Channel Island foxes~
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236 thoughts on “Playing with Channel Island Foxes!

  1. These are just the most gorgeous captures… what a fascinating little fox… it always fascinates me thinking how they got to where they are today… and looking at the photos of the Islands a fascinating place indeed… I always wonder why, when a nature lover will sit quietly, that the animals will come out and pose for them like these three did for you…. they obviously know how safe they are, and how fascinated you are with them… I love this post and I love this blog…

  2. My goodness, Cindy, you must have the patience of Job! Fancy going there and waiting for these beautiful creatures, dare I ask how long it took you to get these wonderful shots?

  3. What wonderful photos! The one pic looks like he or she is smirking at your camera!! I have always loved the red fox since I was a very little girl, it is so cool to see this different breed of fox! These pics of yours should be in National Geographic magazine! Hugz Lisa and Bear

    • Yes, I was almost wishing I would miss the boat, so I could spend the night, but I didn’t have a tent and the ranger was way too young for me. Besides I am married and my husband would be displeased!! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

  4. Hi my friend Cindy!

    Beautiful clicks I must say!! πŸ™‚ You have perfectly managed to capture the true colors of foxes. Great work..

    Be Bettr, Stay Bettr! πŸ™‚
    Swetank.

  5. Oh Cindy! They could not be more beautiful. You are so lucky to have met them, and I am so lucky that you have shared them with me. I wish there were more than only 80. They should be an endangered species, but when I looked them up it said “threatened”? What are we waiting for, 10 foxes?

    • Resa, you are entirely on the mark. My son knows a lot more about The Channel Island ecosystems because he went to college there majoring in wildlife biology.
      The foxes are very rare and very much vulnerable due to their small numbers and limited habitat. They are currently in recovery mode due to a lot of complex factors including moving Golden Eagles, restablishing Bald Eagles, moving non-native pigs, and captive breeding. It is too complicated for me to pretend to be knowledgeable. The lowest tally of Channel Island foxes sometime in the early 2000’s was 80 on Santa Cruz, 15 each on two other islands. They were severely endangered then and are in comeback mode now due to these aforementioned efforts and more. It is a conservation success story. To read more than I know check out:
      http://www.nps.gov/chis/naturescience/island-fox.htm
      All I know is they are magnificent and I know you feel the same. Thank you my friend for bothering to research them and my thoughts as always are squarely with you. <3 <3

  6. You must have a big zoom lens to capture birds and foxes =)! I think foxes are really cute looking. I don’t know what kind of problems they will pose to human, but I was not amuse by the fox hunting tradition in UK, which is for the entertainment. I don’t support any kind of animal cruelty in any part of the world, might it be whales, sharks, seals, bears etc. Just wish human can live peacefully with these animals.

    • Yes I so share your feeling. Humans need to learn to live peacefully with each other and with the animal world. These foxes know this, they came right up close to me, within a foot or so!

  7. Cindy, I love these photos! Thank you very much for posting them!

    Despite their traditionally mostly negative image in Chinese culture, the fox has always been one of my favorite animals. πŸ™‚

      • Thank you, Cindy.
        The volcano has “behaved” a bit, but the people living near the mountain are not allowed to go back to their villages yet. They are living in temporary camps. We try our best to help them.

        The new elected president is going to visit them soon. I hope he brings more aids with him. πŸ™‚

      • I hope so too. I have been worried about the eruption. Sounds so stressful and difficult. I hope aid is brought in for the people displaced in camps as well. So upsetting and frightening. Please keep me posted Hari. I am still sending you my thoughts and prayers. <3

  8. I think we have red foxes here. I saw one crossing the yard in the winter over snow lit by the moon one year. The Channel Isle Foxes have a unique blue hue. Sometimes the females are bigger since they have to carry offspring and the males are smaller and more colorful. Like birds.

    Winter is fast approaching here. The daylight hours are few. And even fewer with all the rain we have been having. Thanks for all your visits. I’m looking forward to some warm weather time in December.
    Hugs, Jules

    • Yes, I am my no means particularly knowledgeable about foxes. All I know is that I love them. <3 I thought about that as soon as I wrote it and hence the qualifier, one was smaller, one bigger, probably I should have stuck with that which about reaches the depth of my knowledge! Laughing~

    • I think I want to post more photos of their canny burrows that seemed to allow them to funnel around on the the surface of the ground without ever being above ground level. I am probably totally wrong about this, but I would love to see what people see and think. They are so darn adorable in every way~

    • Can you even believe them? I felt this big spiritual thing, because I was waiting for them for no good reason except I really wanted to see them, and they finally came out and said HELLO big time! What a moment in time. They stayed until I was the last to make it back on the boat. These are the moments where we can know all life is divine. You know this better than I. Hugs back to you cousin~

  9. I really find it hard to make a balanced comment. Those foxes are exceptionally beautiful. And it is good that they are protected. Here in Australia they are “AN INTRODUCED SPECIES” and I think that makes all the difference. Here they are responsible – along with the cat – with the destruction of many of our native species. They have actually wiped out some species. BUT have a look at “We went to look at the whales” on my blog to see what I mean. And, Cindy, this is not a blatant attempt to promote my blog – It’s to do with foxes and photos and a bit more. And I don’t need to promote because you are already one of my favourite followers.

  10. Pingback: Playing with Channel Is Foxes « Some Animals are Crackers

  11. Liebe Cindy super Fotos von den Füchsen spitze toll fotografiert einen schânen Donnerstag wünsche ich dir und die schânen Leckereien da bekommt man ja gleich Lust welche zu naschen ganz liebe Grüße in Freundschaft Klaus

  12. Oooh, nice that you visited Santa Cruz island on foot as well! I didn’t manage to do that, but your photos convinced me that I have to rectify this some day… soon! πŸ™‚

    • Interesting. When we were in Russia, we visited a museum on ethnography of Arctic peoples. They live obviously in the far Arctic reaches and their cultures have remained somehwhat unchanged by time due to their geographical isolation. I found this wonderful and this music reminds me of it. Thanks for sending me it my friend~

      • You have a good ear πŸ™‚ which means you hear more than the superficial noises. This IS blended with a Soumi (Sami) dialect.

        There is a trick to breathing like that without hyperventilating, though sometimes hyperventilating is done on purpose. Variations are done all the way around the artic circle. However, this particular song is a modern song on an old theme with mixed genre, as much of Hedningarna’s music is. I am tickled that you heard it πŸ™‚

        That feeling of running for miles and miles is a common Northern element, as well.

        Human and fox changelings is a shared theme in folk tales in the Northern Hemisphere where ever there are (or have been) fox.

        I hope your little Island Fox survive.

        Thank you for sharing so much through your beautiful photography.:-D

      • Amazing! I visited with the Sami on a prior trip to Norway. Yes, the breathing running across the arctic tundra, how remarkable. Although fox have never approached me like this before, I have heard and read of arctic foxes sort of adopting people and co-existing. They are so intelligent. Animals are simply so much more intelligent than many people give them credit for.
        Your knowledge and stories are simply inspiring and leave me wanting to learn more.
        Thank you so much for sharing this with me. <3 <3

  13. Maymont Park, in Richmond, Va. has foxes they adopted, when the pregnant mother (who died) was hit by a car. Evidently someone managed to get the fox to the Vet in time to save the cubs. Your beautiful foxes stir up memories of those guys, not to mention I like sharing THAT story.

  14. I am so insanely jealous! I absolutely have got to find a way to get out there and see them for myself. I love foxes, and these are so amazingly beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us!

    • They are the most beguiling little wild creatures, and you’re right, their unique evolution, each slightly different on different islands, so close to each other, is remarkable.

  15. Gorgeous foxes, gorgeous photography. So real, so natural, and friendly. I use to see red and gray foxes in Connecticut in the forest preserve that was literally our backyard. I don’t know anything about foxes, except I think they are beautiful and clever. Cindy, thank you for sharing, so beautiful.

    • I can count my lifetime of fox sightings on the fingers of both hands, so seeing them for me is always a major thrill. We live next to a nature preserve too, but I have seen one fox here in ten years! How fortunate you were to live with them~

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