Foxes flourish

Catalina Island foxes recover from near extinction

Wildlife experts recently shared some promising news on the state of Santa Catalina Island foxes.

Experts say the furry inhabitants of the island, off the coast of Southern California, have made a substantial comeback during the past decade. The creatures were very nearly killed off by distemper—likely brought to the population by a domestic animal, reported the Los Angeles Times.

During a recent count, scientists found 784 of the wild animals—a subspecies of fox found only on Catalina. The population’s growth is in part contributed to drought two years ago, when the animals fed on mule deer that had died of starvation. Plentiful rodents last year added to the feast.

During a low point in 1999, the Institute for Wildlife Studies created a recovery program. The success may mean the animals could be removed from the federal endangered species list.