Work continues in investigating the deadly mange infestation in the endangered San Joaquin kit fox. Endangered Species Recovery Program and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wildlife Investigations Laboratory are collaborating efforts to research the local population in Bakersfield.
To learn more and to find out how you can help, please click on the link below.
Andrew Di Salvo, DVM, the inaugural Free-Ranging Wildlife Health Veterinary Resident with the CDFW Wildlife Investigations Laboratory and the UC Davis Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center, shares a photo from each month of his first year…
August 2017: Captured and processed San Joaquin kit foxes in Bakersfield, CA as part of sarcoptic mange surveillance and treatment efforts
June 2018: Assisted with black bear capture operations in Inyo National Forest near Bishop, CA as part of population and health surveillance efforts
May 2018: Attended CDFW media training event
April 2018: Captured and processed Sierra Nevada red fox in Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern CA as part of population and health surveillance efforts
March 2018: Translocated Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains
February 2018: Processed helicopter-captured deer in Southern CA as part of population and health surveillance efforts
January 2018: Treated orphaned mountain lion cub burned during the Thomas wildfire in Southern CA at the WIL
December 2017: Treated two black bears burned during the Thomas wildfire in Southern CA at the WIL
November 2017: Captured and processed desert bighorn sheep near Bishop, CA as part of population and health surveillance efforts
October 2017: Captured and processed fishers in Stirling City, CA as part of reintroduction and monitoring efforts
September 2017: Assisted with Southern sea otter health evaluations and transmitter implantations at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, CA
For the past 5 years, the WIL and it’s partners the Endangered Species Recovery Program (ESRP), UC Davis, CDFW-Region 4, USFWS, and the California Living Museum (CALM), have been working together to help San Joaquin kit foxes living in Bakersfield gain the upper hand during a fatal epidemic of sarcoptic mange.
Healthy male San Joaquin kit fox, #6833, in January 2017.
The same male San Joaquin kit fox, #6833, months later in July 2017 – after becoming infested with mange.
Male San Joaquin kit fox, #6833, a month after receiving treatment for mange while at the California Living Museum, CALM. CALM is a permitted wildlife rehab facility in Kern County.
WIL staff and partners assessing the recent habitat restoration efforts. Photo credit: Austin Roy (CDFW)
WIL and our partners at USFWS, UC Davis, CDFW-Region 6, BLM, Amargosa Conservancy, and Shoshone Village are continuing to restore historic vole habitat in Shoshone, CA. The Amargosa vole was first discovered in Shoshone in the late 1800s, but a myriad of habitat changes resulted in its local extinction from the northern part of its range.
A recently installed interpretive sign explains the restoration project to visitors and local community members. Photo credit: Deana Clifford (CDFW)
Over the past year non-native vegetation was cleared, soil was contoured and irrigation installed in select areas to more evenly distribute water throughout the fledgling marsh. The team’s goal was to have a light touch on the land and let the marsh do much of the work regenerating itself.
The beginnings of a marsh capable of becoming vole habitat are appearing!
This restoration project is made possible due to the dedication of local private landowners, volunteers and a community nonprofit. The effort is funded by a Traditional Section 6 grant and a Partners for Fish and Wildlife grant through the USFWS, funds from CDFW WIL and private matching funds. Once the marsh is fully restored, we hope to bring voles back to Shoshone and create a new population of voles which will aid in reducing the chance of this species becoming extinct.
An example of what the marsh looked like during (a) and after (b) initial habitat restoration efforts. Photo credit: Tanya Henderson (Amargosa Conservancy) and Austin Roy (CDFW)
Captively bred Amargosa voles. Photo credit: Nora Allen
Since 2014, CDFW-WIL has partnered with UC Davis in order to create and maintain a breeding colony of Amargosa voles essential to the recovery of the species. If interested in learning more about the history and progress of the colony, please read more here. Below is a video showing a few of the vole pups bred in captivity (Credit: Janet Foley).
In the Spring of 2016, CDFW (WIL and Region 6), UC Davis, BLM, USFWS, and many volunteers partnered to restore a key habitat patch utilized by the Amargosa vole. This habitat patch used to sustain the highest density of Amargosa voles in the world, but in 2010 it began to deteriorate due to changes in hydrology. The Amargosa vole team worked diligently to restore the water supply and reinvigorate vegetation growth at the marsh. Learn more about the Amargosa vole project.
Recent work from Amanda Poulsen (UC Davis) in partnership with researchers at CDFW-WIL has been published in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases. This work examined the prevalence and potential impacts of toxoplasmosis in the wild Amargosa vole population. To access the paper abstract, click here.
Full reference: Amanda Poulsen, Heather Fritz, Deana L. Clifford, Patricia Conrad, Austin Roy, Elle Glueckert, and Janet Foley (2016) Prevalence and Potential Impact of Toxoplasma gondii on the Endangered Amargosa Vole (Microtus californicus scirpensis), California, USA. Journal of Wildlife Diseases In-Press.