Channel Island Fox
Channel Island Fox
Up to 8 years in captivity (4 years in the wild)
Omnivore. Fruits, insects, birds, eggs, crabs, lizards, and small mammals.
Can be found on the six largest Channel Islands, about 30 to 98 kilometers off the southern California coast in North America.
Channel island foxes can be found in all types of habitats on the Channel Islands. This includes valley and foothill grasslands, coastal sage/scrub, coastal bluff, sand dune areas, island chaparral, southern coastal oak woodland, island woodland, southern riparian woodland, pine forests, and coastal marshes.
This is the smallest fox species known from the United States. Adult males weigh 2.00 kg on average, while adult females weigh 1.88 kg. Body length, including head and tail, ranges from 59 to 79 cm. Tail length alone ranges from 11 to 29 cm. Height at the shoulder is from 12 to 15 cm. Fur is grayish-white and back with cinnamon underfur on the dorsal side, and pale white, yellow, and rusty-brown on the ventral surface. The ears, neck, and sides of the limbs are cinnamon-colored. The underside of the tail is a rusty color.
Channel island foxes are mostly nocturnal, but are also seen during the daytime. During the night, they can be heard barking. The communicate with each other through various vocalizations, body language, olfactory signals, and visual signals. These signs can express dominance as well as submissiveness.
Mating season of island grey foxes occurs from January to April, depending on latitude. After mating, female foxes give birth to a litter of kits in 50 to 63 days. Although average litter size is 2 to 3 kits, it can range from 1 to 5 kits. Kits are born in dens. The den serves to protect the kits from harsh weather, predators, and other dangers. Kits are born blind, weighing approximately 100 grams. They reach adult weight by their first winter. They depend on their mother for milk during the first 7 to 9 weeks. Both parents take care of the kits.