Tag Archives: San Joaquin kit fox

Endangered Foxes Poisoned By Rodenticides

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is investigating the poisoning of two San Joaquin kit foxes found dead in Bakersfield last month. Although the foxes were found ten miles apart, the cause of death was the same: exposure to high levels of the second-generation anticoagulant rodenticide, brodifacoum, which resulted in severe internal bleeding and hemorrhaging. The carcasses were discovered by residents of Kern City and north Bakersfield who reported them to the Endangered Species Recovery Program (ESRP), a local conservation group that monitors kit foxes in the city and greater Central Valley. ESRP has been working closely with residents in both areas, as this urban kit fox population has declined in recent years due to a fatal outbreak of sarcoptic mange.

San Joaquin kit foxes are only found in California and are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. Despite the many obstacles kit foxes face in the wild, most notably due to habitat loss, they seem to be thriving in the Bakersfield area and have become beloved city residents. This urban population is increasingly more important to the survival of the species as natural habitats disappear. However, city living is risky. Urban kit foxes are more likely to die from vehicle strikes, dog attacks, entombment, diseases transmitted by domestic pets or invasive wildlife, and poisoning from anticoagulant rodenticides. Rodents are kit foxes’ primary food item, which makes them terribly vulnerable to poisons ingested by rodents. When they eat rodents that have been poisoned with these baits, they’re exposed to those rodenticides.

Due to their harmful impacts on non-target wildlife — including hawks, owls, bobcats and mountain lions — second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides are now restricted in California. Since July 2014, four of these chemicals can only be legally sold to and used by professional exterminators. CDFW urges residents to help protect kit foxes by using alternate means of rodent control such as exclusion, sanitation and trapping, and to ask any pest control professionals they employ to do the same.

To learn more, please visit our webpage at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Living-with-Wildlife/Rodenticides. For more information, please call or email the CDFW Wildlife Investigation Laboratory at (916) 358-2954 or Stella.McMillin@wildlife.ca.gov.

If you find a San Joaquin kit fox that appears to be impaired, please contact the CDFW or ESRP at (661) 835-7810.

 

Media Contacts:
Stella McMillin, Wildlife Investigations Lab, (916) 358-2954
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420

CDFW’s San Joaquin Kit Fox Poster Contest Showcases Student Talent in Kern County

Contact: Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) held its first kit fox poster contest, challenging high school artists in the Bakersfield area to create posters that educate residents on the plight of the endangered San Joaquin kit fox.

The results for the contest are in, and the top prizes went to the following students:

• 1st, Bianca Medina, Liberty High School

• 2nd, Lyly Huynh, Liberty High School

• 3rd, Ali Vaughan, Bakersfield High School

• 4th (tie) Anastasiya Lugovskaya, Liberty High School and Kelsey Greenwood, Liberty High School

• 5th (tie) Mikaela Mercado, Liberty High School and Courtney Johnson, North High School

Ten additional entries were selected for honorable mentions.

“The 60-plus entries really impressed the judging team, which had to make tough decisions,” said CDFW regional manager Jeff Single. “All top entries creatively integrated CDFW’s ‘Keep Me Wild’ messages with original artwork. I could not be more pleased with the student participation.”

To view the entries, visit our Facebook page photo album titled “San Joaquin kit fox poster contest entries” at http://www.facebook.com/#!/CaliforniaDFW.

The contest was co-sponsored with the San Joaquin Valley Chapter of The Wildlife Society, the Sierra Club and Bass Pro Shops in Manteca.

Students from seven high schools near San Joaquin kit fox habitat participated to bring awareness of the dangers San Joaquin kit foxes face during pupping season.

San Joaquin kit foxes were relatively common until the 1930s but their populations have declined due to loss of native grassland habitat. They are listed under state and federal endangered species laws. For more information, visit: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/keepmewild/kitfox.html

Kit Fox Poster Contest in Kern County Kicks Off

Media Contacts:
Carol Singleton, CDFW Communications, (916) 322- 8962
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

Contest Helps Bring Awareness to Kit Fox Pupping Season

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is launching a San Joaquin (SJ) kit fox poster contest at selected schools in kit fox_backBakersfield.

The contest is aimed at seven high schools to bring awareness to the dangers that SJ kit foxes face during pupping season. The schools were chosen based on their proximity to kit fox habitat.

“Engaging young people in a poster contest is a great way to get the word out about the struggles these foxes face during pupping season which lasts from early March to mid-May,” said CDFW Senior Environmental Scientist Greg Gerstenberg. “Every year, we receive calls about pups caught in soccer nets or in batting cages, often resulting in their death. We hope this contest will raise awareness about the plight of these vulnerable animals and what the community can do to help.”

Sponsors provided prizes for the contest including $1,200 from the San Joaquin Valley Chapter of The Wildlife Society, $300 in merchandise from Bass Pro Shops and $200 from the Sierra Club.

Contest winners will be announced in early May. The first-place winner will receive $500 in cash and/or prizes, second place will receive $250, and three honorable mention prizes will be awarded at $50 each. Any remaining donations will go toward the cost of printing the winning posters.

More information on the contest can be found here: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/SJKitFoxContest.

Compact and shy, the SJ kit fox is so limited in numbers that it is listed as one of California’s endangered animals. At five pounds, they are the size of a housecat, with big ears and a long bushy tail. Primarily hunters of rodents, rabbits and insects, these foxes do not need a real source of water since they get much of their fluid requirements from the meals they consume.

Respecting foxes includes never feeding or exposing them to human activity, never disturbing their habitat and always remembering to keep sports nets off the ground when not in use, especially in the springtime when the pups are playing outside the den.

Kit foxes were relatively common until the 1930s when native grasslands were converted to farms, orchards and cities. Current efforts to encourage population recovery include conservation plans, restoration of native habitats and protection of existing occupied habitat.

Endangered San Joaquin Kit Foxes Act as Good Neighbors in Kern County

Media Contacts:
Greg Gerstenberg, DFG Wildlife Branch, (209) 769-1196
Janice Mackey, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8908

DFG is calling on the residents of Kern County to help with the long-term recovery of the San Joaquin (SJ) kit fox.

Compact, fearful and shy, the SJ kit fox is so limited in numbers that it is listed as one of California’s endangered animals. Weighing in at just five pounds, it’s the size of a housecat, with big ears and a long bushy tail. Primarily hunters of rodents, rabbits and insects, these foxes do not need a real source of water since they get much of their fluid requirements from the meals they consume.

“Mother nature is giving Kern County a unique gift with this incredibly resourceful fox in their backyard,” said Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Senior Environmental Scientist Greg Gerstenberg. “Urban sprawl has encroached upon their habitat but that has not stopped them from adapting and being good a neighbor.”

Assisting with recovery starts with respecting foxes and includes never feeding or exposing them to human interaction, watching for habitat disturbances and understanding their lifecycle, especially in the springtime when pupping season is in full bloom.

DFG has also launched a new SJ kit fox resource web page that provides general information of foxes including how to identify a kit fox, protective measures to keep foxes out of trouble and contact information for additional assistance. The resources can be found at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/keepmewild/kitfox.html.

Kit foxes were relatively common until the 1930s when native grasslands were converted to farms, orchards and cities. The federal government listed them as an endangered species in 1967 and they were listed as a threatened species by the state in 1971. The California population is estimated at less than 7,000. Current efforts to encourage population recovery include conservation plans, restoration of native habitats and protection of existing occupied habitat.

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