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 1, 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 1, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) In a new study, a promising experimental treatment for Ebola managed to cure a group of infected macaque monkeys. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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