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Reintroduction of the Island Fox
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 @ 7:30 PM-9:00 PM
Featured Speaker: Cheryl Asa, Ph.D., Fellow and 2009 Outstanding St. Louis Scientist Fellows Award Recipient, Academy of Science – St. Louis; Director of Research, Saint Louis Zoo, Reproductive Physiologist; Advisor on canid reproduction to the IUCN/Species Survival Commission Canid Specialist Group, U.S. Fish & Wildlife SErvice, and AZA Canid Taxon Advisory Group
Recovery of the critically endangered island fox, native to the islands off southern California, depended on captive breeding and required restoring the ecosystem. After fox populations on several of the Channel Islands crashed in the late 1990’s, research determined that human-generated changes to the ecosystem, such as chemical spills off Los Angeles and ranchers allowing pigs to become feral, had created an unprecedented nesting opportunity for golden eagles which resulted in their predation of foxes. Surviving foxes, captured for safekeeping, formed the basis of a captive breeding program that was central to their recovery. Dr. Asa and the Saint Louis Zoo’s research department used video and hormone analyses to monitor fox behavior and reproductive activity for 10 years. Restoration of safe habitat for foxes included reintroducing bald eagles and removing golden eagles. In an all-too-rare example of successful endangered species recovery, captive-born foxes have been released onto the islands and have adapted well to life in the wild. Using fecal samples collected in the field, Dr. Asa’s lab continues to monitor wellbeing of the released foxes.
Location: Saint Louis Zoo Living World Auditorium. Parking is FREE in the Zoo North Lot.
FREE and OPEN to ALL. Adults, teachers, middle and high school students, and the general public are invited to attend these no-cost lectures on topical issues in science. For more information call 314-646-4544 or 314-533-8586. Registration not required.
Conservation Conversations is Co-sponsored by: