Target: California Field Office of the Nature Conservancy
Goal: Commend efforts to save the threatened Santa Cruz Island fox
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a world-wide conservation organization. Recent updates to IUCN’s threatened species list told some notable success stories – among the most encouraging is the tale of the island fox. Each of six subspecies evolved on a different island in California’s Channel Islands National Park. All four subspecies that were once critically endangered, including the Santa Cruz Island fox, are now classified as near threatened. This remarkable turnaround is thanks in large part to the Nature Conservancy – another worldwide conservation group.
Partnering with the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the California Department of Fish and Game, the Nature Conservancy began a captive breeding and monitoring program to ensure the Santa Cruz Island fox’s survival. The project even kept an eye on the long-term, restoring bald eagles to the island. Where were fewer than 100 Santa Cruz Island foxes left in the wild prior to this intervention, the wild population has grown to more than 1,300 animals.
In a time when human activity, loss of habitat, and climate change are contributing to record extinctions, this story is one of commitment and survival. Thank the Nature Conservancy for its incredible work helping save threatened island foxes from almost certain extinction.
Dear California Field Office of the Nature Conservancy,
The mission of the Nature Conservancy is an ambitious one: to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Yet the world did see some “fantastic conservation successes” with recent updates to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. And we have the Nature Conservancy to thank for one such success story: that of the Santa Cruz Island fox.
When island fox populations dropped 95% in just a decade, the Nature Conservancy stepped up to save them from extinction. Your partnership with state and federal agencies showed real cooperation, real dedication, and because of this wild fox populations on Santa Cruz Island are stable once again–five years after captive breeding programs ended.
Your continued work monitoring the island foxes goes even farther to ensure the population’s vitality. Thank you for your work conserving threatened and endangered animals, and their habitats. Thank you for giving the Santa Cruz Island fox a second chance at survival.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: National Park Service via Wikimedia