Catalina Island Fox: Path to Recovery

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S u m m e r / F a l l
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Catalina Island Fox:
Path to Recovery
As the fog lifts, an unexpectedly
raspy bark snaps the morning
silence. A Catalina Island Fox
summons her pups. Hidden in the
brush, two pups perk their ears
and scramble toward the den.
Their father holds a mouse in his
mouth and offers it to his threemonth-old offspring. Weaning is
underway and the pups begin
their live-prey training.
Found nowhere else in the world,
the Catalina Island Fox (Urocyon
littoralis catalinae) is the largest
and perhaps the most vulnerable
of the island’s endemic species. As
few as 200 Catalina Island Foxes
exist in the wild today. Numbers
have decreased as much as 90%
from estimates of a few years ago.
Most of the decline is attributed
to a 1999 outbreak of canine
distemper virus. Wild canids have
little immunity to this disease
carried by domestic dogs and
when exposed to it, foxes die.
The three-month-old pups
learning to hunt are safe for the
time being. They and their parents
reside in the Catalina Island Fox
captive breeding facility near
Middle Ranch. As far as captivity
goes, this facility offers fine
accommodations approved by the
California Department of Fish and
Game. Each large pen (30’ x 100’)
includes natural vegetation, rocks,
brush and two sheltered, cozy den
boxes. There are twelve pens
The Island Fox captive breeding facility in Middle Canyon . . .
serious purpose with a spectacular view.
separated by enough space to give fox
families some privacy. There’s a
stunning view of the island’s windward
coast from the facility but it is a bank of
video screens that most captures the
interest of people who work on the
project. Every pen has six video cameras
(including inside the den boxes) that
I
N
feed into a small trailer. Fox
activity is monitored without
direct contact; the better to keep
these beautiful wild animals wild.
“Captive breeding is one aspect of
the effort to shore up the fox
population. When we realized the
Please see page 3
S
I
D
E
About the Conservancy . . .p. 2
Calendar of Events . . . .p. 6-7
From the President . . . . . .p. 2
Membership and Support
Group News . . . . . . . . .p. 8-9
Conservation Action . . . . . .p. 4
Catalina
The Work We Do:
Manzanita
spotlight . . . Pg. 10 Executive Assistant . . . . .p. 5
Nature’s Notebook . . . . .p. 10
The View From Here . . . .p. 11
C ATALINA I SLAND C ONSERVANCY
B
M
E N E F A C T O R
E M B E R S
Robert Given, Chair
James H. Ackerman
Paxson H. Offield
Alison Wrigley Rusack
B
O A R D
D
O F
I R E C T O R S
Maria Pellegrini, Chair
Geoffrey Rusack, Vice Chair
Norris J. Bishton, Jr.
Anthony Michaels
Johnnie R. Crean
Richard Murphy
Rose Ellen Gardner
Henry O’Melveny
Richard Harp
Calvin Parsons
Charles Hathaway
Ada Blanche Schreiner
Marie Knowles
Misdee Wrigley
Directors Emeritus
A. Douglas Propst
E
L E C T E D
Robert Thorne
O
J . S c o t t Wa u b e n ,
Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer
Lynn Burt, Corporate Secretary
E P A R T M E N T
M
A N A G E R S
Lenny Altherr
D i r e c t o r, F a c i l i t i e s M a n a g e m e n t
Jane Pulsinelli
A s s i s t a n t Tr e a s u r e r
Steve Dawes
S u p e r v i s o r, S p e c i a l P r o j e c t s
David Gardner
D i r e c t o r, S e c u r i t y
Rebecca Guay
D i r e c t o r, V i s i t o r S e r v i c e s
Deb Jensen
D i r e c t o r, E d u c a t i o n
Mark Hoefs
D i r e c t o r & C u r a t o r,
Paul Moritz
D i r e c t o r, A i r p o r t O p e r a t i o n s
Peter Schuyler
Director, Ecological Restoration
Annette Shears
D i r e c t o r, Vo l u n t e e r S e r v i c e s
J a n e t Ta k a r a
D i r e c t o r, J . H . A c k e r m a n
Native Plant Nursery
Charles Wright
D i r e c t o r, D e v e l o p m e n t
Wrigley Botanical Garden
Contact Us
(310) 510 - 2595
[email protected]
or visit us at
125 Claressa Avenue
Avalon, CA
Visitor Services hours 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily
2
Dear Friends,
This spring, I had the opportunity to tour the
island by helicopter. Wildlife watching is
certainly one of my favorite nature activities
on Catalina, so a chance to get a glimpse
from the air was an exciting treat.
From 2,500 feet above, the island is, of
course, spectacular. The diversity of habitats
and topography resembles a textured
42,000-acre tapestry. As we flew up and
down the length of the island scanning
ridges and looking into ravines, it was clear
that here we have a legacy, a place beloved
by generations of visitors and residents. It is
also a place teeming with the plant and animal wildlife that is our
natural heritage.
F F I C E R S
R o s e E l l e n G a r d n e r,
President/Chief Executive Officer
D
Fr o m t h e Pr e s i d e n t
This issue of the Conservancy Times features articles on two rare/endangered
species recovery projects underway on the island. Endangered species
recovery programs offer unique challenges; some of which are described in
the articles about the Catalina Island Fox and the Bald Eagle. The Conservancy
is dedicated to whole-habitat protection. This includes restoration aimed at
keeping ecological processes, like natural reproduction, intact.
On the ground, wildlife watching is fun. The scurrying Beechey Ground
Squirrel and singing Northern Mockingbird are as fascinating to observe as
the more elusive Catalina Island Fox or the majestic Bald Eagle. And, it’s good
to know that all of these creatures and many, many more are at home here,
with us.
Best wishes for a wonderful summer!
All Over the Globe, Conservation Land Managers are
Grappling with Weedy Plants.
Invasive non-native species present a huge challenge when it comes to
conserving native habitats. On Catalina, we have had an active weed
abatement program for many years. On July 13-14, teams of staff and
volunteers commenced a weed mapping project designed to up the ante
for successful weed management. Then, on August 2, a group of science
teachers visited the island as part of the California K-12 Alliance Summer
Institute which focused this year on….weeds. The science teachers learned
about our weed strategies and restoration projects. Prevention through
education.
Catalina Island Conservancy
Life on the Edge
continued from page 1
extent of the fox problem, we had to act very quickly
to stabilize the decline. We convened all experts and
built a recovery plan that included vaccination, translocation, and captive breeding. The Institute for Wildlife
Studies (IWS) is the Conservancy’s partner in this effort,”
stated Peter Schuyler, the Conservancy’s Director of
Ecological Restoration.
Island Foxes mate and produce
only one litter per year. This
spring, six female foxes of the
ten pairs in captivity delivered
pups. While data from foxes in
the wild is not available to
know the usual litter size and
rate of survival, the facility is
allowing us to provide a stable,
controlled environment for
foxes to rear their young, and represents an exceptional
opportunity to learn more about these striking animals,
and what they need in order to thrive. During the twoyear-old project, the average litter size has been two
pups. In 2001, 33% of the pups survived and in 2002,
57% survived. The 2002 pups will remain in the pens
until fall, but the six born last year have been liberated
to fend for themselves.
The whole purpose of the captive breeding program is
to restore the population of foxes in the wild. The six
juveniles released last November are wearing radiotelemetry collars so that movements and interactions
can be observed. Twenty others have been ear-tagged,
radio collared, and translocated from the west end of
the island to the east end. The West End population
remained intact during the canine distemper virus
epidemic. When the foxes were captured on the West
End, each was given a complete physical examination to
be sure only healthy foxes were moved. Telemetry
tracking has found that there is considerable overlap in
the use area of some male and female translocates
which indicates pair formation. This is a sign that the
new East End residents are establishing home territories
and bonds that may mean more pups born in the wild
next spring.
In 2000, a canine distemper vaccine pilot study indicated
that the vaccine, developed by Dr. Richard Montali of
the National Zoo, was safe and effective for Catalina
Island Foxes. In 2001, 80% of foxes that survived the
distemper outbreak were vaccinated.
According to Steve Timm, veterinarian for IWS, “The
vaccinations should provide the fox population with
some resistance to outbreaks of canine distemper, but
the possibility of future distemper outbreaks or other
diseases is still very real.”
A project with the significance
and magnitude of the Catalina
Island Fox Recovery Program could
not have been possible without
the generous donations of
numerous members, donors, and
foundations. Many volunteers
continue to give of their time to
assist the Conservancy and the
Institute for Wildlife Studies in the
recovery program.
Please do your part to help save the Santa Catalina
Island fox, a living symbol of what makes the island
unique. Here’s how:
Don’t feed the foxes. They can become drawn to
L
people, which makes them vulnerable to unhealthy
foods, pet diseases, and deadly road crossings.
L Always keep your pets on a leash in the interior
of the island. Though they should, foxes don’t
have much fear of larger animals, perhaps
because they have had no natural enemies on
the island for thousands of years.
L If you see a hurt, injured or dead fox, please do
not attempt to move it. Call the Catalina Island
Conservancy at 510-2595 to report it immediately.
L Contribute to the Fox Fund c/o Catalina Island
Conservancy, P.O. Box 2739, Avalon, CA. 90704.
In November, the healthy pups born in captivity this
spring will be collared and released. It might take the
juveniles some time to adjust to the big, wide world.
Soon they will learn how to find Jeruselum crickets,
manzanita berries, sheltered overhangs, and potential
mates. Welcomed into the island’s natural community,
they represent hope for the Catalina Island Fox
Recovery Project.
- - Deb Jensen
Director, Education
Tracks in the Sand - Saving the Catalina Island Fox,
an award winning documentary now available for purchase. See Page 12.
Conservancy Times
3
Conservation Action
“Number 31”
Bass Lake, CA April 30, 2002
In 1993, a two-week old baby female Bald Eagle was collected from
a nest in Northern California and placed into the West End nest on
Santa Catalina Island. She was banded and tagged with tags “31”.
Eagle chick awaiting transportation to new nest.
She fledged and one day left the nest. The Institute for Wildlife
Studies (IWS) and the Conservancy lost track of her until she was
spotted in Washington State in 1995. Then, in 1998, she showed
up at Bass Lake with an adult male adding sticks to an old osprey
nest but too late for the breeding season. Her mate was smaller
and untagged.
In 1999, the pair was again sighted at the Bass Lake nest and successfully raised an offspring. It also appears they raised two
eaglets in 2000 and two in 2001.
Laura Colton of the California Department of Fish and Game in Oakhurst, California reported that this past February the pair was
incubating eggs in the nest. The orange “31” patagial (wing) tags were plainly visible on the female.
It was anticipated that the egg(s) would hatch around mid-March, but by late March it was clear that the nesting attempt failed
for some reason. There was hope that a renesting attempt would be made since the two eagles were still in close proximity to
the nest.
In April, two Bald Eagles were sighted perched on the nest, however, neither was tagged. Additional observations confirmed
this. It appears that the smaller of the pair is the male that had previously mated with “31”. But the female is not “31”. The two
unmarked eagles have formed a pair bond and have been sighted soaring synchronously above the nest and were observed
All
Creatures
chasing another unmarked eagle from the nest territory. There has been
no sighting
of “31”. Great and Small
The Department of Fish and Game is concerned with the fact that “31” is missing. Bald Eagles are extremely long-lived birds and
“31” appeared to be in great condition. Bald eagles breed for life so it is unlikely that she would have abandoned her nest
territory. There have been no reports of the missing eagle.
It is unknown what happened to “31”. Did she become ill or injured somehow? Did she become tangled in fishing line in the
many lakes in the area? It is unlikely that she would have lost both patagial tags so one or both should still be visible if she
were spotted.
The Bald Eagle population in the Bass Lake area appears to support “floaters” – adult Bald Eagles that reside in an area but have
not established a pair bond or nesting territory. It is assumed that the new female in the nest of “31” is a floater that quickly
filled the void left by the missing “31”. It appears this female floater has now paired with the remaining male.
Endangered species recovery programs (like Catalina’s Bald Eagle Project) are fraught with challenges. Mating success is only
one of the trials. Animals in low populations have few mate choices and natural biologic factors may inhibit mate selection.
Even one healthy adult in an endangered population can make a significant difference in an animal species’ survival. The
Conservancy is dedicated to whole habitat protection and restoration aimed at keeping ecological processes, like natural
reproduction, intact. On Catalina Island, natural reproduction by Bald Eagles is currently not possible because of the
continued impacts of DDT pollution, such as the thinning of the Bald Eagles’ egg shells. In order to allow the eagles to
continue to persist here, the Institute for Wildlife Studies conducts a management program in which they remove the fragile
eggs before they break, replace them with artificial eggs, and then foster healthy chicks back into the nest. These chicks are
either produced by the San Francisco Zoo’s seven breeding pair of Bald Eagles, hatched from the Catalina eggs, or are
collected from wild nests, as “31” was in 1993.
4
Catalina Island Conservancy
The Work We Do
Executive Assistant
After 17 years with the Catalina Island Conservancy,
Lynn Burt has retired as Corporate Secretary and
Executive Assistant. Lynn started with the Conservancy
on October 14, 1985. Over the years, she has been
involved in all meetings of the Board of Directors and
Benefactor Members, from arranging logistics to
preparing official notices, agendas, and recording the
minutes of the meetings. In this capacity she was
custodian of the corporate seal, bylaws, minutes, and
corporate files. In her administrative duties, she assisted
the president and other senior management staff in a
myriad of ways in the day-to-day operations of the
Conservancy. Lynn was also instrumental in creating
and publishing the popular weekly employee
newsletter, Fox Tales. “I am very proud of my years
with the Conservancy and the role I have been
fortunate to play in the care and preservation of
Catalina,” Lynn said, “and now that I’m retired I will be
able to reap the benefits by spending more time
enjoying the island . . . boating, camping, hiking, etc.!
Lynn Burt
Bruce Guay joined the Conservancy family on June
17, 2002, and officially took over Lynn’s position on
August 1. Bruce brings to the position experience in
computer programming, office management, and
excellent organizational and writing skills.
“No one can replace Lynn,” Bruce said, “but I look
forward to working with the Benefactors, Board,
executive staff, and all the
staff at the Conservancy. My
orientation tour of the various
departments reinforced my
belief that this is an
organization I will be proud to
assist in any way I can to
further its mission.”
Conservancy Times
5
CALENDAR
Your guide to getting
E DUCATION O FFERINGS
Aug 20, Evening Nature Program
8:00 p.m. "Catalina Views" is the year's
work from island photographers. Come see
what developed. Wrigley Botanical Gardens.
Sept 1, The HIKE
8:00 a.m. Experience the spectacular coast above Little
Harbor. Reservations must be made by Aug. 31.
Sept 17, Evening Nature Program
7:00 p.m. Denise Knapp, Conservancy vegetation specialist,
will share with us what is going on in the Goat Harbor burn
area. Metropole Hotel Conference Room.
Oct 5, The HIKE
8:00 a.m. Walk on a trail of beauty from Black Jack to Middle
Ranch. Reservations must be made by Sept. 28.
Nov 2, The HIKE
8:00 a.m. TBA. Reservations must be made by Oct. 26.
Nov 19, Evening Nature Program
7:00 p.m. Learn about Catalina's resident and visiting bird
species in preparation for the Audubon Christmas Bird
Count. Metropole Hotel Conference Room.
Dec 7, The HIKE
8:00 a.m. EXTREME HIKE. Head into Toyon Bay from Airport
Rd. Reservations must be made by Nov. 30.
Want to join in on an education program? Contact the Education
Department (310)510-0954 or [email protected]
V OLUNTEER H APPENINGS
Volunteer Vacations
Volunteer Vacations are an exciting
change of pace from the usual vacation.
Your experience will serve as an excellent
opportunity to learn about the unique ecology of Santa
Catalina Island, give back to the environment, and have
some fun at the same time.
Sept 9 - 13
Sept 23 - 27
Volunteer Vacation
Volunteer Vacation (sold out)
Check the next issue of the Conservancy Times or our web site for
Volunteer Vacations dates in 2003.
Nurture the Natives . . . Every Thursday
Join staff and volunteers at the James H. Ackerman Native
Plant Nursery for a variety of projects with "the natives."
Planting, watering, seed processing and general
maintenance are just a few of the projects we'd like to share.
Sept 4, 9, & 11 Volunteer Naturalist Corps Basic Training
Be a Leader, help teach our school-age children the value of
this beautiful ISLAND and all the wonders that come with it.
Wednesday, Sept. 4, starts the training for our school-aged
programs. The first day consists of basic teaching methods
and ideas, with an overview of our local island environment.
Monday, Sept. 9, will incorporate specific lesson plans for the
Catalina ISLAND program which works directly with
K-6 Avalon and Two Harbors School children. The last
training, Wednesday, Sept. 11, will be a hands-on experience
with Course Catalina. This program began in 1995 as an
outreach program for middle school students in the Los
Angeles Unified School District and is co-sponsored by the
Catalina Island Conservancy and the Boone Foundation.
Please join us for a chance to help carry on the knowledge.
M EMBER G ROUP E VENTS
October 19, Catalina Marineros 2002 Fall
Cruise. Plans are underway for a cruise to
Corsair Yacht Club Cove at Emerald Bay.
Please see article on pg. 9.
8
TH
6
Would you like more information about these and other volunteer
opportunitites with the Catalina Island Conservancy? Call Director of
Volunteer Services Annette Shears at (310) 510-2595, ext. 102 or
email [email protected]
Save the Date - Saturday, April 5,
ANNUAL CATALINA ISLAND CONS
Catalina Island Conservancy
.
.
.
g
n
i
r
u
t
Fea
R
involved on Catalina
S UMMER N ATURALIST
P ROGRAMS
THROUGH S EPTEMBER 1 ST
Sundays, Avalon Nature Hike
9 a.m. Come join us as we take a moderate uphill climb to
the back of Avalon Canyon for spectacular views.
Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Gardens.
Tuesdays, Avalon Nature Walk
10 a.m. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the gardens led by
our knowledgeable naturalist guide.
Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Gardens.
Catalina Views . . . a slide exhibition
that catches Catalina’s wilder side.
Fridays, Avalon Campfire Program
8 p.m. Gather around for stories, legends and facts about
Catalina’s history at the evening campfire.
Hermit Gulch Campground.
Saturdays, Avalon Nature Walk
10 a.m. Enjoy a guided leisurely stroll through the
botanical gardens led by our knowledgeable naturalist.
Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Gardens.
Saturdays, Two Harbors Nature Walk
10 a.m. Explore the natural history of Two Harbors as we
take a leisurely stroll at the Isthmus.
Meet at the Conservancy Kiosk.
Volunteers bring environmental
education to local school children.
Saturdays, Little Harbor Nature Walk
3 p.m. Join us as we take a closer look at one of Catalina’s
sensitive ecological areas.
Meet at Little Harbor Campground kiosk.
Summer Naturalist Programs are FREE and open to the public
(admission for the Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Gardens is
$3.00 for adults). Reservations are not required. For more
information call (310) 510-2595, ext. 134.
2003
SERVANCY
Conservancy Times
BALL
Make your plans for the Catalina
Marineros 2002 Fall Cruise.
Memberships Move Us
A warm welcome to our new members! (3-1-2002 through 5-31-2002)
GOLDEN CIRCLE AMIGOS
CATALINA PILOTS
FRIENDS
James and Helen Rosburg
James and Karen Young
GOLDEN CIRCLE MARINEROS
CATALINA CONSERVANCY
DIVERS
John and Marilyn Adair
Trygue and Lyla Anderson
Tom Asfor and Nena Dols
Robert Bass
Mark and Bonnie Beck
William and Mary Borneman
Bernadette and Tyrone Byrd
Carol Dalton
John and Edith Daniels
Peter Fiske and Kelly Kirkpatrick
Lee and Pat Freeman
Patricia Fritcher
Ellen Fusco
Joseph Grelck
Matt and Nancy Grimes
Lynn and Beverly Haller
John and Sherrie Harloff
Tish Harper
Bob and Debi Lambert
Daniel Marquez
Hans and Annerose Grellmann
Joseph and Marie Michell
Joseph Moreno and Rosie Ramirez
Wilson and Carol Pace
Charles and Nelly Shemell
The Spence Family and John Graham
Peter and Virginia Stillman
Diane Stojanovich Books
Rodney Yoder and Juliette Wells
$1000 annual dues
$1000 annual dues
Richard and Susan Vanderpool
AMIGOS
$100 annual dues
Gail Avedesian
Lynn Danielson and Fred Smith
Marilyn Grams
Karla Parsons
Paige Wright
$100 annual dues
$100 annual dues
Eric Edward and Lisa Lundquist
Paulie Jenkins and Ted Carlsson
Everett Mundkowsky
Ted Phelps
Danny and Ellie Piper
William Powers
Tony Wilcox
Stephanie Wilson
CATALINA CABALLEROS
$100 annual dues
CATALINA MARINEROS
$100 annual dues
Peter Binaski
Donald and Margie Brown
Charles and Marilyn Campman
Orlando Duran and Linda Richards
Craig Leeds and Margie Cate
Robert Malone
Bob and Donna McGill
Steve and Glynns Mueller
Tom Rogers
Robert and Susan Weekly
Robert and Judith Herron
STUDENTS
$10 annual dues
Nic Tasca
ISLAND RESIDENTS
$25 annual dues
Eric Huart
Lisa Malone
Peter Trottier and Lori Brady
OF
CATALINA
$25 annual dues
Join Us!
For further information about membership and contributions, please contact:
Development Director Chuck Wright at (310) 306-3577, [email protected],
or
Erica Cushing, Development Assistant, at (310) 510-2595, x 114,
[email protected]aconservancy.org
8
Catalina Island Conservancy
Support Group News
Catalina Marineros
Hey Marineros! Here’s your chance for some fun this fall. Join the group going to beautiful
Emerald Bay on the weekend of October 19 and 20. Corsair Yacht Club has graciously offered
their shore facilities for us to enjoy. Moorings will be available for those who sign up early. There
will be a great barbeque dinner on Saturday evening; bring your own libation. Conservancy
naturalist, Jeff Chapman, will provide an educational program and will answer any questions about the Conservancy that
you may have.
Enjoy games and activities on shore starting at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday. A low-key horseshoe tournament is planned and
there will probably be a bingo game going. A dinghy raft cocktail party is in the offing. Come prepared to have a great
weekend! Also, charcoal fires will be available for those of you who wish to barbecue dinner ashore on Friday night.
The best part of this is the cost, only $22.00 per person. Send your reservation in the form of a check for the total amount
to Catalina Island Conservancy, P.O. Box 2739, Avalon, CA. 90704, attention Erica. To make mooring arrangements, include
your boat name, length and whether it is sail or power. If you have questions, call Dave Hitchcock at (310) 373-9491 and he
will try to answer them. Put this on your schedule now!!
L L L L
Marineros work projects are scheduled every month and we’re always looking for eager helpers. It’s a fun trip starting
with an early Catalina Express ride to Avalon (6:30 a.m.) from Long Beach and a full day’s activities. The jobs are varied but
interesting and it makes a great two-day trip. Want to participate or have questions? Call Hank O’Melveny, (626) 799-9532,
or Thad Jones, (949) 494-5505.
Two New Member Support Groups
Conservancy members at the $100 annual dues level can choose to belong to one of several support groups – the
Catalina Marineros for boaters, the Catalina Conservancy Divers for scuba divers, the Catalina Caballeros for equestrians,
and the Catalina Amigos.
The two newest member support groups are the Catalina Conquistadors and the Catalina Pilots. Besides supporting the
Conservancy, the members of the Catalina Conquistadors enjoy athletic competition of various kind;, including biking,
10K’s and triathlons; on and throughout the island. The
members of the Catalina Pilots are not only supportive
of the Conservancy’s overall work, but enjoy planes
and flying and are particularly interested in visiting
Catalina’s Airport-in-the-Sky. Both groups are
welcoming new members.
Membership in any of the support groups is open to all
persons. You can check out all of the groups on our
web site by clicking on BECOME A MEMBER.
Or, call Erica Cushing in our membership department
at (310) 510-2595, x 114.
Conservancy Times
9
Nature’s Notebook
Manzanita, Stark and Stunning
Arctostaphylos may be one of the most adaptable genera in the
western United States. In California there are nearly ninety varieties
of this plant, better known as manzanita. The common name is
Spanish for “little apple”, which the small fruits resemble.
The plants readily adapt to fit climate, soil composition and other
physical geographic features, becoming endemic species with a
limited range. Endemic manzanita can be found on Santa Cruz, Santa
Rosa and Santa Catalina Islands. The Santa Catalina Island Manzanita
(Arctostaphylos catalinae) is found in several groves around the
island. Some individual plants resemble large shrubs or even trees.
The manzanita’s most striking characteristic is its brilliant smooth,
shiny, red bark.
Catalina Manzanita
Catalina manzanita are associated with the many organisms that make them home.
Some branches are crusted with the varied colors and species of lichen. Hummingbirds and flying
insects feed on nectar from the flowers. Catalina quail and Spotted towhees can be seen
foraging in the leaf litter beneath the shrubs. The Catalina Island Fox has a special relationship
with manzanita, the berrries being a favorite fox food. The seeds contained within the berries
require scarification in order to germinate. Often fire helps scarify the seeds, however, the
churning digestion within the stomach of a fox also does the trick. When foxes leave scat away
from the parent plant, they are helping to extend the range of the manzanita on Catalina.
Consequently, this means more food sources for future Island Foxes.
Eric’s Journal . . . a young naturalist’s Catalina
Eric Williamson is a sixth grader at Avalon Elementary School. He is a Conservancy Island Scholar and
spent one day per month, during the school year, at a special spot near Black Jack. There he, and the
other Scholars, made observations about Santa Catalina Island.
A habitat is a place where an animal or plant naturally lives or grows.
An example of a native Catalina habitat is a fox den. A fox den is a burrow in
the ground that the animal made or uses that another animal has made. A
burrow is used for hiding from predators, to survive in stormy weather, to
keep cool when the weather is too hot outside and to keep their pups safe.
Around my spot at Black Jack, I found a fox, birds and squirrels. The bird had a
nest and I found feathers on the ground and on the branches. There was a
hole in the ground for the fox for shelter. I also saw fox scat in my spot. I also
saw another hole that I saw the squirrel go into.
The birds and the squirrel share the same habitat, the tree. They both use the
tree to hide in. They both use the tree for raising their young. They both use
the tree for storing their food and protection.
10
Catalina Island Conservancy
The View From Here
Lines composed while HIKING to White’s Landing
Ancient rock gently crumbling
Green hills majestically climbing
Spectacular island delightfully singing
Tall ironwoods longingly reaching
Crystal life form silently pounding
Colorful grasses softly bending
Green plant starkly growing
Gorgeous bird freely singing
Brown rock majestically standing
Old island patiently waiting
Energetic hike lively moving…
Written by:
Two Jims, Tim and Pat, Joyce, Jeff, Mike Rocosam,
Alma, Susan, Teresa and Lisa
Come along on a HIKE with the Catalina Island Conservancy. The first
Saturday of each month we take a different path, to a different place.
Spend some time with your feet on the earth, in motion with others.
On this page, we welcome your thoughts, musings, sketches,
and photos of Catalina. Please submit to:
Editor, Conservancy Times
P.O. Box 2739
Avalon, CA 90704
All items become the property of the Catalina Island Conservancy.
Conservancy Times
11
Tracks in the Sand
Saving the Catalina Island Fox
This award winning film documents the first year of the
Conservancy’s historic Fox Recovery Project. Journey with
wildlife biologists, Conservancy staff, local students and
the Catalina Island Fox into the interior of Catalina to
witness efforts to save this special species from extinction.
Purchase your copy when you are on the island at:
Conservancy House
125 Claressa Ave., Avalon
Catalina Island Conservancy
P.O. Box 2739
Avalon, California 90704
www.catalinaconservancy.org
The mission of the Santa Catalina Island
Conservancy is to conserve the land it owns
in perpetuity; to restore it to a natural state;
to provide education and recreational uses of
the land consistent with conservation; to
foster and develop research to promote
understanding of the resources of Santa
Catalina Island and Conservancy activities
and to promote an understanding of the
underwater habitat surrounding the Island.
Printed on 100% recycled post-consumer waste paper with vegetable-based ink.
Download