Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fox Or Eagle: The Price Of Saving A Species

Date:
December 2, 2003
Source:
University Of California Davis
Summary:
Perhaps few people would argue that a vanishing population of unique native foxes should be protected at all costs from non-native predators. But what if the predators were golden eagles?

Perhaps few people would argue that a vanishing population of unique native foxes should be protected at all costs from non-native predators. But what if the predators were golden eagles?

That is the dilemma outlined in the Nov. 28 issue of the journal Science by a UC Davis conservation biologist and two colleagues. "This exemplifies how solving conservation problems is often more complex than redressing its primary cause," writes Rosie Woodroffe with co-authors Franck Courchamp of the University Paris-Sud and Gary Roemer of New Mexico State University.

In this case, the species at risk is the island fox (Urocyon littoralis), a candidate for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The fox evolved in isolation in California's Channel Islands, which lie roughly 25 miles off the state's southern coast. Ten years ago, golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) from the mainland began breeding in the islands. Golden eagles are not considered endangered or threatened but are protected by federal laws.

Although the eagles preyed mainly on feral pigs, they also killed many island foxes. Soon the fox subspecies on San Miguel and Santa Rosa islands became extinct in the wild, with the last few animals taken into captivity. On Santa Cruz Island, 1,500 foxes were reduced to just 65.

Deeply concerned, wildlife managers opted to remove both the eagles and the feral pigs, which damage native plants. All but a few wily eagles have been relocated; pig hunting was to begin soon. Then Woodroffe and her colleagues analyzed the fox preservation plan with a mathematical model; the Science article tells their conclusion: "Eagle predation on foxes increases as pig availability declines."

In that case, if the Santa Cruz Island foxes are to be saved, they conclude, both the pigs and the remaining eagles must be removed -- "by any and all means." For eagles that evade traps, that could mean shooting.

Woodroffe is familiar with conservation issues that are emotionally, politically and legally challenging: She is a member of a scientific committee that earlier this month said the controversial practice of killing wild badgers in England to prevent tuberculosis in cattle may cause more disease, not less.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California Davis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California Davis. "Fox Or Eagle: The Price Of Saving A Species." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 December 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/12/031202071105.htm>.
University Of California Davis. (2003, December 2). Fox Or Eagle: The Price Of Saving A Species. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/12/031202071105.htm
University Of California Davis. "Fox Or Eagle: The Price Of Saving A Species." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/12/031202071105.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

AFP (Sep. 27, 2014) The drop in price of soy on the international market is a cause for concern in Argentina, as soybean exports are a major source of income for Latin America's third largest economy. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) A mama bear and her two cubs climb trees, wrestle and take naps in the backyard of a Monrovia, California home. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Crazy' Climate Forces Colombian Farmers to Adapt

'Crazy' Climate Forces Colombian Farmers to Adapt

AFP (Sep. 26, 2014) Once upon a time, farming was a blissfully low-tech business on Colombia's northern plains. Duration: 02:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins