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Nature beyond SolitudeNotes from the Field$
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John Seibert Farnsworth

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501747281

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501747281.001.0001

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Notes from the Santa Cruz Island Reserve

Notes from the Santa Cruz Island Reserve

(p.45) 2 Notes from the Santa Cruz Island Reserve
Nature beyond Solitude

John Seibert Farnsworth

Cornell University Press

This chapter presents the author's field notes from the Santa Cruz Island Reserve. The author was particularly interested in studying island foxes. Lacking natural predators, island foxes tend not to find humans intimidating, indeed appearing tame even though they are technically wild. The island fox is currently on the rebound from endangered status. There were two thousand foxes on Santa Cruz Island in 1994, but canine distemper and golden eagle predation reduced the numbers to under 135 by 2000. The author was also interested in the endangered plants, the red-tailed hawk, the anise swallowtail, and the island scrub-jays. Not only is the island scrub-jay endemic, occurring only on the island, but it is also the only insular land bird in either the United States or Canada. The explanation for this is that scrub-jays seem incapable of crossing significant amounts of water.

Keywords:   Santa Cruz Island Reserve, island foxes, canine distemper, golden eagle predation, endangered plants, red-tailed hawk, anise swallowtail, island scrub-jays, insular land bird

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