There’s a inhabitants of foxes on San Juan Island in northwestern Washington state, the place I dwell. They’re non-natives who have been introduced right here within the Thirties by island dwellers who have been attempting to provide you with an answer for coping with the island’s different fundamental invasive species, rabbits (who appear to have arrived someday within the 1850s with early British settlers). It didn’t actually work—the foxes largely simply unfold out throughout the entire island, whereas the rabbits stay centered at its southern finish. However since foxes aren’t good swimmers, the species didn’t unfold. They’ve remained right here and have change into accepted members of the island ecosystem, having survived some robust years within the Nineteen Nineties.
These are crimson foxes, however there’s a black/silver (technically, “melanistic”) variant amongst them. So some are crimson and a few are black, typically in the identical household. And each spring, fox mommas bear litters of their kits, and the island’s residents get to take pleasure in watching them develop up, whereas attempting to maintain them secure from passing automobiles. (It’s additionally taboo to feed them—naturalists coping with the ravenous populations we noticed within the ‘90s realized the issue was dependency on people. They thrive once they’re on their very own, as a result of there’s loads of prey for them right here.) In any occasion, I used to be capable of take pleasure in a few late afternoons this previous month observing them from an acceptable distance with my telephoto lens in hand. Hope you benefit from the outcomes.